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BREAKING: All ITT Campuses Will Close

All ITT Tech campuses will be shut down, its parent company announced today.

"It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after approximately 50 years of continuous service. With what we believe is a complete disregard by the U.S. Department of Education for due process to the company, hundreds of thousands of current students and alumni and more than 8,000 employees will be negatively affected," said a statement from the company.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Education prohibited ITT Educational Services, the parent company of ITT Technical Institutes, from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid. At the time, U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. said that "looking at all of the risk factors, it's clear we need to increase financial protection, and it wouldn't be responsible or in the best interest of students to allow ITT to continue enrolling new students who rely on federal student aid funds."

A few days later, the California Department of Consumer Affairs' Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education issued an emergency decision demanding ITT Educational Services stop accepting new students at its 15 California locations.

Since then, ITT Technical Institute posted a new landing page on its website that states, "We are not enrolling new students." The website also says credits earned by current students are "unlikely to transfer."

The apparent demise of ITT has had students scrambling and trying to figure out their options. The chain has about 45,000 students at 130 campuses.

In blocking new students from enrolling, the Education Department cited the actions of ITT's accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which determined that ITT "is not in compliance and is unlikely to become in compliance with [ACICS] accreditation criteria." According to the department, ACICS questioned ITT's compliance with standards such as financial stability, management, record keeping, admissions, recruitment standards, retention, job placement and institutional integrity, in an Aug. 17 letter sent to the department.

Critics of for-profit higher education have praised the Education Department's stance. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, at the time of the Education Department action, compared ITT to the Corinthian chain, which collapsed amid federal and state scrutiny. “For too long, ITT Tech and its executives have gotten rich off taxpayers while misleading and taking advantage of their students with Corinthian-style deceptive and abusive practices,” said Durbin. “Today, the Department of Education announced strong action to help prevent additional students from being harmed and more taxpayer dollars from being wasted on this company faltering under the weight of its own wrongdoing. I strongly commend Secretary King and the department. Students should be warned: ITT Tech is not a smart choice for your educational future.”

But ITT's statement today cited criticism of the department, such as a Wall Street Journal editorial that called the agency's action "a for-profit execution" that demonstrated "how to kill a company without proving a single allegation."

In a note to ITT students on the Education Department's website today, Secretary King sought to lay blame for the closure on ITT, not the department. "The school’s decisions have put its students and millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded federal student aid at risk," King wrote. "Ultimately, we made a difficult choice to pursue additional oversight in order to protect you, other students, and taxpayers from potentially worse educational and financial damage in the future if ITT was allowed to continue operating without increased oversight and assurances to better serve students."

King informed students that they have the option of seeking to have their federal loans discharged or of transferring and continuing their educations elsewhere. "Restarting or continuing your education at a high-quality, reputable institution may feel like a setback today, but odds are it will pay off in the long run," he wrote.

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Accreditation Trouble for ITT's Daniel Webster College

Daniel Webster College's regional accreditor last week told the small college, which the troubled ITT Educational Services owns, that it has reason to believe Daniel Webster may not meet accreditation standards and must "show cause" about why its approval should not be removed at a meeting later this month.

ITT, which is facing a raft of state and federal investigations as well as financial problems, recently froze all new enrollment after losing access to federal aid for new students. Roughly 45,000 students attend the for-profit chain's 130 campuses. Daniel Webster, which ITT bought in 2009 for about $40 million, enrolls 740 students at its campus in New Hampshire.

Clinton Names For-Profit Critic to Transition Team

Hillary Clinton has named Rohit Chopra, the former student loans ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to her campaign's transition team. 

Chopra brings both experience in the higher ed sector and progressive bona fides to the campaign. He was one of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren's first hires at the agency, where he was a frequent opponent of the for-profit industry and student loan servicers. Politico first reported the appointment.

Since January, Chopra has served as a special adviser to Education Secretary John King, working on higher education. He worked at the Center for American Progress between stints at the CFPB and Department of Education.

Previously, Clinton adviser Ann O'Leary had been the only person named to the transition team with a background in education policy. 

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ITT Tech Halts Enrolling New Students

The California Department of Consumer Affairs' Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education issued an emergency decision last week demanding ITT Educational Services stop accepting new students at its 15 California locations. 

The decision comes after the U.S. Department of Education banned the company from enrolling new students who receive federal funding. 

Since then, ITT Technical Institute posted a new landing page on its website that states, "We are not enrolling new students." The website also details that credits earned by current students are "unlikely to transfer." 

The company also owns Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire, however, that for-profit institution was excluded from the department's ban.

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Education Department bars ITT Tech from enrolling new students with federal aid

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Education Department's new sanctions against the for-profit college include a ban on enrolling new students who receive federal aid and tougher financial oversight.

BREAKING: Education Department Slaps Serious Sanctions on ITT

The U.S. Education Department on Thursday announced several new sanctions on ITT Technical Institutes, which experts said could push the large for-profit chain toward bankruptcy and closure. ITT is facing a wide range of federal and state legal challenges, in addition to scrutiny by its national accreditor, which believes the for-profit chain is unlikely to come into compliance with its requirements. Department officials said the “sweeping” sanctions were necessary to protect students and taxpayer dollars.

The new federal sanctions include moving ITT to a tighter form of financial oversight, dubbed heightened cash monitoring; a freeze on new students receiving federal aid; an increase in the amount of a required letter of credit to $247 million; and limits on the compensation of the for-profit’s executives.

“Looking at all of the risk factors, it’s clear that we need increased financial protection and that it simply would not be responsible or in the best interest of students to allow ITT to continue enrolling new students who rely on federal student aid funds,” John King Jr., the U.S. education secretary, said in written statement.

Iowa regulator agreed with Ashford University's complaint about meddling by federal and California agencies

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Ashford University cries foul on veterans' agency and California for meddling in Iowa's decision to yank the for-profit's GI Bill eligibility, and newly released emails show an Iowa official shared that view.

For-Profit Brooks Institute Announces Closure

Brooks Institute, a for-profit visual arts college, has announced that it is shutting down in October. A letter on the institute's website cited "changes in economic and regulatory conditions." The Los Angeles Times reported that enrollment has dropped from 2,500 students in 2005 to 250 registered for this fall. Last week, The Ventura County Star reported last week that the president had been ousted and that a majority of board members had resigned. Last year, Career Education Corporation sold Brooks to gphomestay, a company that works with international students.

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Report on for-profits in six countries finds similar problems and few benefits

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U.K. report on for-profit colleges in six countries finds few benefits of sector and calls for tighter regulation, while acknowledging lack of data makes it hard to set rules.

Bill Clinton Earned $1.1 Million From Laureate in 2015

Former President Bill Clinton received $1.1 million in payments from the for-profit college operator Laureate Education in 2015, according to tax returns released by the Hillary Clinton campaign Friday.

Clinton also received $562,000 in payments last year from Dubai-based for-profit GEMS Education, which operates K-12 schools in multiple countries.

As Inside Higher Ed reported in April, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has promised to crack down on the for-profit industry. But Clinton and her husband have significant ties to the for-profit sector, chief among them the former president’s role as honorary chancellor at Laureate International Universities.

Bill Clinton was paid $16.5 million by the company between 2010 and 2014. He resigned from the chancellor position last year.

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