March 4, 2016

Wall St Journal Again Posts Anti-Student Op-Ed Without Disclosing For-Profit College Ties

The Wall Street Journal today published an op-ed arguing against providing broad student loan debt relief for people who were deceived by their colleges. The co-authors of the article, Jorge Klor de Alva and Mark Schneider, contend that such relief will be expensive — potentially more than $1 billion for students of now-shuttered for-profit Corinthian Colleges alone. They note that the U.S. Department of Education is considering not only issuing new debt relief rules and beefing up enforcement efforts against school misconduct, but also pondering new rules to allow the Department to recoup discharged loan costs from …

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March 3, 2016

Romney & Rubio Attack Trump University, But Both Are Tied to Predatory Colleges

Mitt Romney will charge in a speech today, according to excerpts released in advance, that Donald Trump’s “promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.” Romney’s attack follows Marco Rubio’s recent hits on Trump’s unlicensed for-profit business “school”; at the last GOP debate, Rubio charged, “There are people that borrowed $36,000 to go to Trump University, and they’re suing him now. And you know what they got? They got to take a picture with a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump.”

But it is a testament to the long-standing political influence of the for-profit college industry that both …

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March 1, 2016
McD jobs

For-Profit College Recruiter Hides Behind McDonalds Arches

A website displaying McDonalds’ famed golden arches and promising jobs at the fast-food empire quickly pushes visitors instead to recruiters at for-profit colleges, including those owned by two of the largest and most troubled companies in this sector — ITT Tech and Education Management Corporation (EDMC).

Republic Report has exposed in the past websites that promise jobs, government programs, or veterans benefits but seem to be mostly aimed at finding potential students for big for-profit colleges who pay handsomely for these leads.  The college recruiters are desperate to find new students so they can cash their …

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March 1, 2016

UC Davis Chancellor Quits DeVry Board of Directors After Eight Days

For-profit college company DeVry Education Group announced last week that the Chancellor of the University of California-Davis, Linda Katehi, had joined its board of directors.  Today, after facing criticism from public interest organizations and a California legislator, Katehi quit the DeVry board.

The Federal Trade Commission sued DeVry in January for alleged deceptive advertising.  The company also has been under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education and the attorneys general of Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York. DeVry last year received $1.47 billion in taxpayer dollars from federal student grants and loans.

On February 22, DeVry announced …

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March 1, 2016

NY Court Refuses to Dismiss Trump University Case, Describes Fraud Allegations

Last week, when Marco Rubio charged Donald Trump with illegal labor practices, Trump dismissed the claims as old news, leading Rubio to respond, “I guess there’s a statute of limitation on lies.” Meanwhile, in a New York court, Trump had raised an actual statute of limitations defense to fraud claims brought by New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman against Trump University. Today, Super Tuesday, a New York appeals court unanimously rejected Trump’s argument.

In so doing, the appeals court recounted the brazen abuses that the New York AG claims Trump and his “university” undertook.  Here’s what the appeals court wrote today:

In …

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February 18, 2016

Students Testify: For-Profit Colleges Stole Our Futures

After six years of engagement on the issue of America’s predatory for-profit colleges, I feel I’ve seen it all — every kind of account of students deceived and abused by cynical college operators who have taken billions in federal student aid money, of slick industry lobbyists using campaign cash to avoid accountability measures, of government overseers bought off or asleep at the switch. But Wednesday, at the latest round of “negotiated rulemaking” sessions to draft new regulations governing claims by student borrowers that they were defrauded, my eyes were opened wide yet again.

Wednesday morning, I saw …

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February 17, 2016

Dept. of Education Takes on the University of Nowheresville

Last week, Secretary of Education John King and Undersecretary Ted Mitchell announced the creation of a new enforcement division, headed by an experienced Federal Trade Commission lawyer, to crack down on deceptive practices by colleges, particularly in the abusive for-profit college sector. It was one of those days when it looked like the Department, long the lapdogs of the aggressive lobbyists and lawyers for for-profit colleges, and of the Members of Congress in the pockets of that industry, was finally facing up to its responsibilities to protect students and taxpayers.

This morning, at the Department’s second round …

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February 12, 2016

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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