July 26, 2016
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Industry’s Top Lobbyist: Stop “Assaults” On For-Profit Colleges

Steve Gunderson, the former congressman (R-WI) who is the chief lobbyist for America’s for-profit colleges, warns in a new email, “There has never been a time when the economic, regulatory and political assaults on our sector have been stronger.” Gunderson, since 2012 the CEO of the discredited, depleted for-profit college trade group CECU (formerly APSCU), writes to for-profit college executives — CECU members and non-members alike — that what is on the line is “saving our sector!”

“Saving” Gunderson’s sector might have been better accomplished by him pressing his members to accept reasonable reforms to reduce fraud by …

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July 18, 2016
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For-Profit Colleges Use Distortions to Enlist Students to Oppose Obama Rules

Steve Gunderson, the former congressman (R-WI), who heads the discredited, depleted for-profit college trade group CECU (formerly APSCU), is working hard to defeat a new Obama Administration rule that would (1) provide debt relief for students who were defrauded by their schools and (2) take steps to hold fraudulent schools accountable.  In addition to efforts to buy spokespersons and scare non-profit and public colleges into opposing the rule, CECU now aims to get for-profit colleges to enlist their students as lobbyists in the effort — a tack the industry has …

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July 6, 2016
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Ex-New York Times Reporter Now Lobbying to Block Student Debt Relief

For-profit colleges are once again fighting furiously, and expensively, to gut a common sense regulation from the Obama Department of Education. The Hill today is calling this latest lobbying battle a “frenzy.”

The Obama rule spurring this frenzy would:

1. Implement a law already on the books by providing standards and procedures for the government to forgive the federal loans of students who were defrauded by their schools.

2. Require schools that behave irresponsibly to post financial letters of credit so money will be available to pay claims in case the school melts down.

3. Allow students who believe they were defrauded or abused to …

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June 24, 2016
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For A Day, Broke Students Win

In a world of mass shootings, Brexit, and a looming dramatic presidential election, the deliberations of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), in a nondescript meeting room at the DoubleTree Crystal City in Arlington, VA,  would hardly seem to matter.

But, yesterday, it did matter. By the scheduled 8:30 am start time, the room was hot and packed, with seemingly more people, at least, than at any 2016 Jeb Bush event. At stake were billions of dollars that for-profit colleges want to keep getting, the integrity of federal aid programs, and the futures of countless …

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June 13, 2016
Steve-Gunderson-President-CEO-APSCU

For-Profit College Lobbyist Gives the Game Away

It is absolutely stunning that the for-profit colleges’ chief lobbyist, Steve Gunderson, told a reporter today that a new Obama Administration proposed rule — a rule that would finally give students and taxpayers some leverage to recover payments for abuses by predatory schools — “will crush career education.”

What does that say about the performance and intentions of the schools he represents? It says, I believe, that many of these schools have made a lot of their money, in reality, by deceiving, over-charging, and abusing students, and if they can no longer do that with …

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June 6, 2016
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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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June 5, 2016
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For-Profit College Industry, In Freefall, Convenes in Florida

Today, the troubled for-profit college industry’s troubled trade association, APSCU, begins its four-day annual convention, at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando FL. Unlike past years, there is no big name keynote speaker, no George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, or Newt Gingrich, and no dance party with a semi-faux version of the Beach Boys or Kool and the Gang. The optics are more stripped down, and the mood, judging by the conference agenda, is more downbeat.

APSCU has waged a long campaign against efforts by the Obama Administration to hold its member schools accountable for waste, …

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January 6, 2016
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Ex-Congressman Solicits $80,000 From For-Profit Colleges for Court Paper Aimed At Shielding Fraud

The Republican ex-congressman who now works as the chief lobbyist for the troubled for-profit college industry has ushered in the new year with an email asking for-profit college owners to finance a legal brief aimed at limiting the legal risk of companies in fraud cases.  The amount that Steve Gunderson, CEO of the industry trade group APSCU, says he needs to pay for the single, short brief he proposes to file with the U.S. Supreme Court? $80,000.

The email, obtained by Republic Report, opens with a hearty “Happy New Year!” greeting but then gets down to business, with Gunderson describing what’s at …

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