EDUCATION, School

U.S. Department Of Education Reins In Career Colleges

The U.S. Department of Education is in a crackdown mode and has gone after private colleges that compete within the for-profit private sector.

Over the years, many of these colleges have not only exploited, misled, and abused students but also collected federal money under false pretense.

One of many colleges to fall under the latest scrutiny of the Department of Education is Corinthian College.

After a comprehensive review of the college by the Department, it has confirmed cases of misrepresentation of the job placement rates to current and prospective students in Corinthian’s Heald College system.

The Department found 947 misstated placement rates and informed the company it is being fined about $30 million.

Tuition-Free CommunityThe Department has also notified Corinthian that it intends to deny the college any pending applications to continue to participate in the Title IV federal student aid programs at its Heald Salinas and Stockton locations. Corinthian has 14 days to respond to the Department’s notice, after which the Department will issue its final decision.

Moreover, the Department has determined that Heald College is no longer allowed to enroll students and must prepare to help its current students either complete their education or continue it elsewhere.

According to ed.gov, last year, the Department announced a new federal interagency task force to help ensure proper oversight of for-profit institutions.

“This should be a wake-up call for consumers across the country about the abuses that can exist within the for-profit college sector,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said of the Department’s enforcement action against Corinthian.

“We will continue to hold the career college industry accountable and demand reform for the good of students and taxpayers. And we will need Congress to join us in that effort,” he continued.

Ted Mitchell, the Undersecretary who is responsible for the newly formed task force said, “Instead of providing clear and accurate information to help students choose which college to attend, Corinthian violated students’ and taxpayers’ trust.”

“Their substantial misrepresentations evidence a blatant disregard not just for professional standards, but for students’ futures. This is unacceptable, and we are holding them accountable,” he said further.

As part of the process of holding career colleges accountable the institutions are required to provide accurate information about their graduates’ job placement success and the types of employment their graduates obtained.

The Department also expects all institutions to adhere to the highest standard of care and diligence in following the requirements of participating in federal student aid programs to ensure colleges are always doing right by students and taxpayers.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

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