April 8, 2014
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Jeb Bush To Address Convention of Predatory For-Profit Colleges

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) will be the keynote speaker at the Las Vegas annual convention of the trade association of for-profit colleges, APSCU, according to the group’s website.  Although some reputable, responsible colleges are members of APSCU, the organization is dominated by large companies, many of which — Corinthian, ITT, Education Management Corp., Kaplan, Career Education Corp., DeVry — are now under investigation by federal law enforcement agencies, state attorneys general, or both. Pending lawsuits brought by government authorities charge that big for-profit colleges have engaged in deceptive advertising; coercive boiler room recruiting targeted at …

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March 31, 2014
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Quiz: Which For-Profit College Are You?

Time to find out how badly you rip off students and taxpayers.

Read the book here.

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This article also appears on Huffington Post.

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March 14, 2014
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Regulating For-Profit Colleges: On To The Next Round

This morning, the Obama Administration released its new proposed “gainful employment” rule, aimed at ending taxpayer support for college programs that claim to train people for careers as medical assistants, air conditioner repair technicians, or software coders, but instead consistently leave their former  students with shaky job prospects and insurmountable debt.

Most of the big for-profit colleges will automatically hate the new rule because, based on their outraged statements in public and private, they apparently believe their industry is entitled to a permanent flow of more than $30 billion annually in federal dollars, regardless of how poorly they are …

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March 3, 2014
Image: Bob Kerrey

Bob Kerrey To Keynote Meeting of For-Profit Colleges Charged With Abusing Vets

Former U.S. senator Bob Kerrey (D-Nebraska) will give keynote remarks at this spring’s annual convention of the for-profit college trade association, APSCU, in Las Vegas. It’s not really a surprise, since Kerrey recently co-authored a Wall Street Journal op-ed arguing against new federal rules to hold the troubled for-profit college industry accountable. But it’s a shame.

Kerry, a 1992 candidate for president who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his brave acts as a Navy Seal in Vietnam, has chosen to back an industry that has many big players who are systematically abusing students, notably our …

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February 28, 2014
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For-Profit College Execs To Get Lobbying Tips From Former Tobacco Official

It’s become increasingly clear from law enforcement, congressional, and media investigations that many for-profit colleges are selling a product that can be toxic to students — high-priced, low-quality programs that often leave graduates and dropouts alike without improved career prospects and paralyzed by student loan debt, often $100,000 or more.  So when the for-profit college companies’ trade association, APSCU, meets in Washington next week for its annual lobby day, whom has the group selected to speak to its members on the subject of “Crafting the Positive Impact Proposition of Private Sector Colleges and Universities”?

None other than John Dunham, …

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February 22, 2014
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WOW: You Won’t Believe What This For-Profit College Lobbyist Just Said (and Did)!

Steve Gunderson, the former congressman (R-WI) who heads APSCU, the lobbying group for America’s for-profit colleges, seems to be getting desperate. The industry he represents is seeking once again to block the Obama Administration from issuing a “gainful employment” rule that would, eventually, cut off federal student aid to career training schools that consistently leave their students with overwhelming debt.

But in contrast to the last time this fight occurred, in 2010-11, in this round the dispute is taking place against the backdrop of mounting law enforcement investigations and whistleblower lawsuits against the industry, greater public awareness of …

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December 13, 2013
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Obama Team Must Be Fair, but Tough, on For-Profit Colleges

This morning the U.S. Department of Education convenes what may finally be the last session of its negotiated rulemaking on a proposed “gainful employment” rule, a measure aimed at cutting off federal aid to career college programs that fail to train students to earn a decent living.  The latest draft regulation from the Department would be a step in the right direction as compared with the status quo, but as the New America Foundation’s Ben Miller shows, it’s somewhat weaker than the previous draft, in terms of holding predatory career colleges accountable for programs that leave students with …

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December 9, 2013
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For-profit college group, linked to ALEC, keeps working to harm students and taxpayers

It’s a busy time for APSCU, the trade association of America’s for-profit colleges.  The group spends its time trying to block reasonable measures to hold the worst actors in its industry responsible for their systematic abuses of students and taxpayers, as if the industry is permanently entitled to the enormous amounts of federal taxpayer money — $33 billion in a recent year — that it receives. And the industry is under siege, now that media and government investigations have exposed that many for-profit colleges offer a toxic mix of deceptive recruiting, high prices, low quality instruction, and poor …

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