February 22, 2014

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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October 15, 2013
Kamala Harris

Who Owns The Awful Corinthian Colleges? Wells Fargo, Marc Morial, Pension Funds

Last Thursday, California’s attorney general, Kamala Harris, sued Corinthian Colleges, one of the country’s biggest — and worst — for-profit college companies, for ”false and predatory advertising, intentional misrepresentations to students, securities fraud and unlawful use of military seals in advertisements.” Harris’s lawsuit claims that Corinthian, which operates the schools Heald, Everest, and Wyotech, deceived prospective students, investors, and accrediting agencies about its graduates’ job placement rates and other critical information. Five years ago, the company paid $6.6 million to settle similar claims by the California AG, but the bad behavior allegedly did not stop.

Corinthian, which gets about 90 percent of its …

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August 6, 2013

Bezos’s Purchase of the Post Leaves Graham with Kaplan For-Profit College

Among the many questions raised by Jeff Bezos’s purchase of the Washington Post newspaper is: What will become of the rest of the old Washington Post Company, publicly traded and run by the Graham family?

The fact is that the Post Company was already dominated, in several respects, by its lucrative Kaplan education subsidiary, which includes the Kaplan for-profit college division, as well as a standardized test preparation business.

Kaplan accounted for 55 percent of the Post Company’s revenue last year. By the time of a long, tortured 2011 Post newspaper investigation of how Kaplan had come to dominate the …

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May 30, 2013

What I Just Told the Obama Administration About For-Profit Colleges

The U.S. Department of Education is now engaged in a series of public hearings on higher education issues, including reforms to curb the abuses of predatory for-profit colleges. It is also accepting written comments from the public.  I attended the opening hearing last week in Washington, DC, and I tweeted (May 21) about the powerful presentations of reform advocates and the stonewalling strategy of for-profit colleges.  For several years I have been in touch with numerous former students and staff of for-profit colleges. Some have filed with the Department harrowing accounts of deceptive and abusive practices by these …

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April 15, 2013

Gainful Employment Rule for For-Profit Colleges: Eminently Fixable, Eminently Necessary

The U.S. Department of Education announced this morning that it will conduct new hearings and rulemaking proceedings on a range of higher education issues, including the contested “gainful employment” rule, which is aimed at curbing the abuses of predatory for-profit colleges.

Last month, a federal judge delivered his second blow in less than a year to the gainful employment rule. Judge Rudolph Contreras, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, upheld the Administration’s power to enact the rule, but, in a lawsuit brought by expensive lawyers hired by the powerful for-profit college …Continue Reading »

March 22, 2013

Did For-Profit College EDMC Merge Canadian and U.S. Campuses to Evade The Law?

The owners of America’s big for-profit colleges have developed a big bag of tricks to keep tens of billions of federal dollars flowing their way, regardless of the bad consequences for students and taxpayers.  Every time we think we’ve seen it all, a new brazen tactic emerges. Here’s the latest:

The nation’s second largest for-profit college businesses, troubled Education Management Corp. (EDMC), last year designated a Canadian college that it owns as a satellite campus of one of its U.S. colleges located 1500 miles away across the border. That questionable merger might have allowed EDMC, which is 41 percent …

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March 6, 2013
Will Mitch Daniels tell the heads of predatory for-profit colleges that they're doing a great job?
Will Mitch Daniels tell the heads of predatory for-profit colleges that they're doing a great job?

Mitch Daniels & Mike Mullen Should Tell For-Profit Colleges Hard Truths, or Else Stay Home

Last year, the annual convention of owners and executives of for-profit colleges (University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes, Kaplan, etc.), held in Las Vegas, featured paid speakers George W. Bush and Michelle Rhee, and, for entertainment, a fake knockoff version of Creedence Clearwater Revival. After a year in which the truth about their shoddy practices finally sent many for-profit colleges into a tailspin, they will gather again in June in Orlando. This year’s meeting of their trade association, APSCU, will feature: former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R); retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen; …

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February 28, 2013
Trent Lott trained in the ways of Washington on your dime. Now he uses that knowledge as a paid lobbyist for dirty energy companies.
Trent Lott trained in the ways of Washington on your dime. Now he uses that knowledge as a paid lobbyist for dirty energy companies. while also posing as a wise statesman.

Who Built Senator-Turned-Dirty Energy Lobbyist Trent Lott? You Did

Far too often in Washington, policy decisions are influenced by big money — wealthy corporations spend millions on lobbying, public relations, and campaign contributions to get their way. Big money helps explain why your cell phone and cable TV bills are so expensive, why small investors are still unprotected from Wall Street abuses, why taxpayers subsidize incomprehensible waste, like the $33 billion a year we spend on for-profit colleges that often ruin students’ lives.

But one of the worst affronts to our democracy, and one of the worst dangers to our world, is the way that dirty energy companies — …

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