June 8, 2016
debtcollective

Why We Need A Strong Student Debt Relief Rule

The Obama Administration is on the verge of issuing a proposed rule that would create new procedures and standards for cancelling the federal student loan debt of people who were defrauded by their colleges. The rule would also create new standards for the Department of Education to require colleges to post escalating letters of credit based on concerns about their operations. And it would ban or limit the ability of a college receiving federal aid to force students to resolve claims in private, secret arbitrations, rather than in court.

There were several months of public negotiations on a rule

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June 6, 2016
ITTbldg

As APSCU Meeting Opens, Ex-Members Make Big News

The for-profit college trade association APSCU opened its conference today in Orlando, and amid sessions about dealing with increased government scrutiny after APSCU’s failed lobbying strategy, there was news about two former APSCU members:

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today announced a June 2 agreement under which for-profit American Career Institute (ACI), which shut down abruptly in 2013, has admitted to deceiving students and falsifying documents.  According to Healey, in 2012 alone, ACI received more than $30 million in federal student aid, about 89 percent of its total revenue.  Healey alleged, and ACI admitted, according to Healey’s press release

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May 24, 2016
Lott APSCU

The Perfect Lobby: How One Industry Captured Washington, DC

This article, which originally was published (April 3, 2014) in The Nation, is adapted from David Halperin’s e-book, Stealing America’s Future: How For-Profit Colleges Scam Taxpayers and Ruin Students’ Lives, available at Amazon.

Many of America’s for-profit colleges have proven themselves a bad deal for the students lured by their enticing promises—as well as for US taxpayers, who subsidize these institutions with ten of billions annually in federal student aid.

More than half of the students who enroll in for-profit colleges—many of them veterans, single mothers and other low- and middle-income people aiming for jobs like medical technician, diesel mechanic or …

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March 11, 2016
justice

Dept of Educ Wants To End “Outrageous” Forced Arbitration by For-Profit Colleges

The Department of Education tonight released a new draft of regulations on student debt relief, in advance of the third round of rulemaking meetings to be held next week, and in a press release (see below) accompanying the proposal the Department appears to take a hard line against the fine-print language that for-profit colleges have been using to force students to resolve their disputes with a school through secretive arbitration proceedings, rather than in court.

The draft regulations appear to follow suit, laying out two options regarding mandatory arbitration, including one that requires schools participating in the …

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March 8, 2016
uscthouse

Appeals Court Rejects For-Profit College Attack on Obama Rule

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington DC this morning rejected the for-profit college trade group’s challenge to the Obama Administration’s gainful employment rule, a regulation that holds career training programs accountable for consistently leaving students with overwhelming debt.  Perhaps recognizing that the war of words over the rule had gone on long enough and that the case was not a close call, the Court of Appeals issued a brief four-page opinion affirming a trial court’s rejection of the challenge brought by the troubled trade group APSCU. The appeals court noted that …

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February 12, 2016
UoPTVad

A New U. of Phoenix? Or Just New TV Ads?

On Monday, the University of Phoenix’s owner, Apollo Education Group, announced a $1.1 billion deal to be acquired by a group of investors including Apollo Global Management (no relation) and the Vistria Group, a private equity firm that includes Tony Miller, who was Deputy Secretary of Education under President Obama from 2009-2013. Miller would become Chairman of the Apollo Education Group Board.

The University of Phoenix, by far the largest for-profit college, has seen a dramatic decline in enrollments and revenues in recent years, as the public has become aware of abuses and poor performance at the school and in its sector. But …

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January 21, 2016

New Report Reveals Electric Utility Industry’s Influence at Universities

In 1971, Lewis Powell, before becoming a Supreme Court Justice, authored a memo, now known as the Powell Memo, and sent it to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Powell called on corporate America to take an increased role in shaping politics, law, and education. Business leaders, Powell instructed, must marshal their resources to influence institutions that influence public opinion and wield political power – especially at universities. Four decades later, the public can see examples of Powell’s instructions taking hold.

Energy and Policy Institute (EPI) has released a report detailing how several universities and professors, funded by fossil …

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November 25, 2015
climate hustle

Marc Morano Climate Hustle Film Makes Great Climate Escapism

Might I humbly suggest we embrace right-wing spindoctor turned corporate think tanker Marc Morano’s latest project Climate Hustle as a welcome escape from reality?

It could be the start a whole new genre of film called climate change escapism.

Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but instead of my expected rant about how Marc Morano and the organization he works for are recipients of money from the likes Exxon Mobil, I want to suggest we embrace Climate Hustle.  This film has the potential to take us to a strange and happy place, where for a little while we can suspend the hard realities of a …

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