Undercovered: Accreditation Process for For-Profit Schools in Dire Need of Reform
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The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) will temporarily stop reviewing applications from new schools, while it attempts to implement reforms in an effort to restore “trust and confidence,” according to a report in ProPublica by Annie Waldman.
The reforms come after a deluge of criticism resulting from several reports and government inquiries shedding light on the organization’s practices.
Previous reporting revealed, for instance, that students from ACICS-accredited schools graduate at lower rates and with higher debt. Furthermore, the organization, which is tasked with regulating hundreds of controversial for-profit schools, is headed by executives from those very schools. According to a February ProPublica report, the ACICS allowed one chain of schools to continue operating despite mounting evidence that it lured students into taking predatory loans; another school was placed on an “honor roll” shortly before being shuttered by the Department of Education.
“Even in the crowded field of accrediting failures, ACICS deserves special opprobrium,” thirteen attorneys general wrote in a letter in April to Secretary of Education John King.
You can read the complete report from ProPublica here.
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