Washington, DC – Today, the Washington Post reported that Secretary Betsy DeVos has formally decided to reinstate the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as a federally recognized accreditor. Consequently, schools accredited by ACICS will be eligible to receive federal financial aid dollars.
Under the Obama administration, ACICS was in the process of being unrecognized by the Department of Education after it had accredited seventeen institutions that were under federal or state investigation, allowing them to receive $5.7 billion in federal aid from 2013-2015. That list of schools included Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech, predatory for-profit institutions that have since closed. Borrowers who attended these closed predatory schools – or others schools that are still operating – have since sought to exercise their right to discharge their federal loans, but have so far been denied by Sec. DeVos’ Department of Education.
In response to today’s news, Reid Setzer, Government Affairs Director for Young Invincibles, released the following statement:
“Time and time again, ACICS has allowed low quality and predatory institutions to take advantage of students. ACICS was complicit in the atrocious behavior at Corinthian and other predatory for-profits, and empowering such a negligent organization again is irresponsible. Rather than protect student borrowers, Secretary DeVos has weakened the standards for accreditor behavior while making it harder for defrauded or misled students to get the loan relief the law says they’re owed. On behalf of the defrauded borrowers buried under crippling student debt, Young Invincibles opposes these decisions and will continue to push back on the erosion of student protections.”