Victory University, a for-profit institution in Memphis, is shutting down, Memphis News Channel 3 reported. Rumors have circulated about financial problems at the institution, which has 1,600 students.
The University of Northern Virginia doesn't sound like an institution to find in South Dakota. But the for-profit institution has relocated there, the Associated Press reported. Virginia authorities shut it down, citing a lack of accreditation, but now it has an address in South Dakota, seen by many as lax in regulating for-profit higher education. Northern Virginia officials could not be reached for comment.
On the heels of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s announcement last week that it was suing for-profit education giant ITT Educational Services for engaging in predatory lending practices, one Democratic senator is calling on the Department of Education to also investigate the company. Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, a Democrat and longtime critic of for-profit colleges, on Friday sent a letter urging Education Secretary Arne Duncan “to investigate these troubling accusations and scrutinize ITT’s participation” in federal student aid programs.
Durbin also sent a letter to ITT’s accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, calling for the agency to “hold ITT accountable.”
Durbin previously sent similar letters to the Education Department in December asking for an investigation of Corinthian Colleges after a Huffington Postarticle said the company had hired graduates temporarily to artificially boost Corinthian's job placement rates.
An article in The New York Times explores the charges in a lawsuit against Premier Education Group, which operates for-profit colleges in 10 states. Officials of the colleges maintain that they are being sued unfairly by "misguided" or disgruntled former employees. The suit charges that the colleges admit students in part by misleading them about their chances of getting jobs. An example: One of the ex-employees who sued said she became concerned when she noticed an electronic ankle monitor on a student in a pharmacy program for which certification would likely exclude those with felony convictions. The ex-employee said she was told to find an internship for the student, even if she had to deceive the employer.
DeVry Inc. shut all 13 of its Chicago-area DeVry University and Chamberlain College of Nursing campuses Monday, citing an emailed threat that was deemed a "potential security issue," The Chicago Tribune reported. Little information was provided about the nature of the threat, but DeVry officials said in a statement that local authorities had declared it safe to reopen the campuses today.
Corinthian Colleges, Inc., a chain of for-profit colleges, said in a federal filing Wednesday that the U.S. Education Department had rejected "many" of the company's requests for new programs because of concerns about its reporting of job placement and other information. Company officials disputed an assertion made in a January letter from the Education Department that Corinthian had "admitted falsifying" placement or grade information, saying instead that the company had detected and reported to federal authorities "isolated instances" of misreporting.