April 29, 2016
gigats

FTC Takes Action Against Florida For-Profit College Marketer

The Federal Trade Commission announced yesterday its first settlement with an education lead generation company, Orlando-based Expand, Inc., and its owner, Ayman “Alec” El-Difrawi, for alleged deceptive practices. The FTC contends that Expand, which operates under the names Gigats, EducationMatch and SoftRock, has been claiming to visitors to its websites that it is “pre-screening” job applicants, when in fact it is gathering personal information for other purposes, including selling it to for-profit colleges that are seeking new students.

Expand’s websites aggregated some job listings from the Internet, but, according to the FTC, many were stale or had no official connection to Expand, and Expand …

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April 28, 2016
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Case Builds Against For-Profit Colleges Denying Students Legal Rights

In recent months, leading Members of Congress, state attorneys general, and non-profit groups have called on the Department of Education to stop colleges that receive federal student aid from forcing students to resolve disputes with their schools in secret arbitration proceedings. (I’ve been active in this advocacy effort.)  After decades of neglecting this issue, the Department of Education appears ready to take steps to protect the right of students to bring their grievances to court.

But the Department has wavered between approaches: fully banning mandatory arbitration clauses or, instead, issuing only a limited ban.

Nothing that advocates have …

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April 19, 2016
vatterott

Troubled For-Profit Colleges ‘Eager to Assist’-Enroll-Students of Shut-Down School

The headline of a Kansas City Star article posted today reads, “Some private for-profit schools come to the aid of former Wright Career College students; Vatterott Educational Centers, Brown Mackie College and National American University offer assistance.”

The article includes this passage:

One of the schools reaching out to Wright students is St. Louis-based Vatterott Educational Centers. It said it will consider credit transfers for former Wright students in five markets — the Kansas City area, Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Omaha.

“We are saddened to see the impact of Wright Career College’s closure on its students,” Rene Crosswhite, Vatterott’s chief …

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April 17, 2016
grayhrng

Departure of Head of College Accrediting Group Won’t Fix the Problem

 

I’ve received information that Albert C. Gray, who has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the controversial accrediting body the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), may be leaving that organization.

Sunday afternoon I emailed Anthony Bieda, ACICS’s Vice President of External Affairs, asking him about this information — that his group’s CEO would no longer be CEO. Bieda replied: “No comment, on behalf of the Board of ACICS.”

UPDATE 04-18-16 9:30 am: This morning, Albert Gray’s name no longer appears on the ACICS website staff page. Anthony Bieda’s title has been changed to “Executive in …

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April 4, 2016
ITTbldg

Massachusetts Sues ITT Tech For Misleading and Harassing Students

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has sued troubled for-profit college giant ITT Tech for alleged deceptive practices and abuses of students in the state. Healey filed the suit last Thursday in Norfolk, MA, Superior Court, and her office disclosed the action in a press release today, which says that ITT, from 2010 to 2013, was at its Norwood and Wilmington, MA, locations “engaging in unfair and harassing sales tactics and misleading students about the quality of its Computer Network Systems program, and the success of the program’s graduates in finding jobs.”

The complaint asserts …Continue Reading »

April 1, 2016
Steve-Gunderson-President-CEO-APSCU

For-Profit College Trade Group Responds to Obama Reforms With Tantrum

I was just alerted to this gem of a tantrum / press release issued two weeks ago by the for-profit college trade association APSCU, whose strategy of aggressive, expensive lobbying and litigation has utterly failed, and which now has lost much of its funding. Having harbored as members now disgraced and shut-down schools like Corinthian, ATI, and FastTrain, and having been dominated by and having now lost as members troubled industry giants like EDMC, ITT, Kaplan, Career Education Corp., and Bridgepoint, APSCU is down to its indignant CEO, former congressman Steve Gunderson (R-WI), and …

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March 31, 2016
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Department of Education Warns For-Profit College Marketer on Misuse of Logos

The U.S. Department of Education last week sent warning letters to two businesses, demanding that the companies stop using the Department’s official logos, or marks, without authorization. One of them, Arcadia, California-based MC Business Group LLC apparently has been running one of the many operations promising people help with managing their student loans, for a fee, even though, as the Department has been pointing out for some time, such services are available free of charge.

The other company, San Francisco-based Abuv Media, is in a field that has been extensively covered by Republic Report: online lead generators who use questionable tactics to …

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March 25, 2016
secretaryking

Education Dept To Give Debt Relief To More Corinthian Students

The U.S. Department of Education says that at an event scheduled for today in Boston with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. will announce that students who attended 91 former Corinthian Colleges campuses nationwide between 2010 and 2014 “have a clear path to loan forgiveness under evidence uncovered by the Department while working with multiple state attorneys general.” These students will be able to apply immediately to have their federal direct student loans forgiven because of alleged fraudulent conduct by Corinthian.

The Department’s special master for debt relief issues, Joseph A. Smith, who is also scheduled …

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