December 17, 2014
everest-college-you-can-do-it-large-1

Declaring Corinthian Colleges Too Big To Fail: A Terrible Idea

The U.S. Department of Education has blessed a deal under which a non-profit student debt collection company, Minnesota-based Education Credit Management Corporation (ECMC), will pay $24 million to acquire 56 campuses, operating under the brands Everest and WyoTech, owned by collapsing Corinthian Colleges, one of the most abusive and deceptive for-profit college companies. The terms of this deal are extraordinarily unfavorable to students.  The agreement creates a remarkable conflict of interest for the Department itself, and it sets terrible precedents for future failing colleges.

The deal is so bad that it seems that the Department is determined to prop …

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December 10, 2014
Geismar LA

30 years after Bhopal, Long Past Time To Make Chemical Plants Safer

Thirty years ago this month, a gas leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, created a toxic cloud that eventually killed perhaps 20,000 people and injured 500,000 more. No chemical accident since then has approached the scale of the Bhopal disaster, but chemical plant tragedies continue every year, including in the United States — most recently a poison gas leak that killed four workers last month at a La Porte, Texas, plant owned by DuPont.

An explosion last year at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant, which killed 15 people and injured 160 more, prompted the Obama Administration to undertake a multi-agency review of …

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December 4, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 6.30.55 PM

Neutron CEO Tells Customers That Republic Report Stories Are False; Ex-Employees Disagree

While one for-profit college in Miami, called FastTrain, has just been sued by law enforcement for, among other things, allegedly hiring scantily-clad women to lure men to its admissions office (an allegation noted by Republic Report back in May 2012), another group of operators in Salt Lake City has been using a different scam — phony bait-and-switch websites — to entice low-income Americans into high-priced, poor-quality career college programs. Republic Report has been exposing these operations for the past few weeks, and one of the companies named is now responding.

Republic Report has obtained a letter from Neutron Interactive CEO Dan Caffee, …

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November 24, 2014
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For-Profit College Marketer Thrived By Posting Fake Ads To Popular Job Sites

 

Neutron Interactive, a Salt Lake City-based business, regularly posted fake job listings on popular job websites including Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com for the purpose of tricking job-seekers into visiting its own websites, according to former Neutron employees. These Neutron Interactive websites, still operating today, also promise jobs, but in reality they usually offer none; their real purpose, say these former employees, is to convince visitors — low-income people, single mothers, veterans, the elderly, all in desperate need of jobs — to provide their cell phone numbers, so marketers at other companies, which pay Neutron for the leads, can sell them overpriced for-profit college programs.

Neutron Interactive’s Continue Reading »

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November 20, 2014
1aRibbon-Cutting

ECMC CEO Explains Deal To Buy Troubled Corinthian Campuses

Confirming rumors that have swirled for weeks, today ECMC Group announced it has reached an agreement to acquire 56 of the 107 campuses now owned by the crumbling, discredited Corinthian Colleges for-profit chain.  A corporate filing from Corinthian says the purchase price is $24 million.  I spoke with ECMC’s CEO Dave Hawn this morning to discuss.

ECMC, a non-profit corporation with both for-profit and non-profit subsidiaries, says it will convert the 56 Everest and WyoTech campuses to nonprofit status. ECMC announced it will “transform the culture and education model at the acquired schools,” including by cutting tuition and “introducing strict accountability standards …

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November 12, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 12.22.16 PM

Scam: Websites Promising Jobs And Medicaid Are Instead Bait for For-Profit College Telemarketers

A network of U.S. marketing companies run glossy websites promising jobs, health benefits, food stamps, and heating assistance, sites with names like localemploymentnetwork.org or medicaidinsurancebenefits.com. But according to former employees of a company connected to these operations, the real purpose of these sites is a classic bait-and-switch: to get low-income people, single mothers, veterans, and unemployed older people on the telephone and push them into high-cost for-profit college programs.

Based on the accounts of these employees, and documents they have provided to Republic Report, the operations may well be in violation of federal statutes prohibiting deceptive marketing and unwanted telephone sales calls, as well as Department of …

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November 7, 2014
Steve-Gunderson-President-CEO-APSCU

Entitled For-Profit Colleges File Meritless Suit to Block Obama Rule

On Thursday, November 6, the national trade association of for-profit colleges, APSCU, sued the Obama Administration in federal court in Washington DC to strike down the new 2014 “gainful employment” rule. The complaint repeats many of the claims from APSCU’s suit to strike down the 2011 gainful employment rule: that the U.S. Department of Education didn’t have the authority to issue such a rule; that the Department has not provided a reasoned basis for the rule; and that the rule is “unlawful, arbitrary, and irrational.” (The same day, the New York-based Association of Proprietary Colleges filed a separate suit to …

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October 27, 2014
hrc

2014 Campaign Shows Growing Public Disdain for Predatory For-Profit Colleges

In the 2o12 election campaign, when a reporter asked GOP candidate Mitt Romney what he planned to do about higher education and college affordability, Romney praised for-profit colleges, and particularly one school, Florida’s Full Sail University, for its ability to “hold down the cost of their education.” It was eventually exposed that: (1) Full Sail was perhaps the third most expensive college in America, (2) Full Sail’s owners were heavy contributors to the Romney campaign, and (3) Romney’s own private equity firm was actually invested in Full Sail.  But whatever Romney’s motives in singling out this sector, it was notable that …

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