College administrators and university employees convicted of fraud are among the 23 people currently barred from participating in federal financial aid programs, according to a new public list from the Education Department.
Department officials said in an online notice that the agency will update the list quarterly as part of an effort to deter misconduct, ensure program accountability and protect students and taxpayers. The department has taken several steps in the last few years to hold individuals personally accountable if their institution fails to operate in a financially responsible way.
Twenty people connected with public, private nonprofit and for-profit colleges and universities are either suspended or debarred—a more permanent prohibition that can last up to three years or longer, depending on the circumstances—along with three others who aren’t affiliated with an institution.
That list includes the chief executive officer of the bankrupt Anamarc College, who was accused of embezzling from the institution; five individuals who pleaded guilty to setting up a fake theology school and stealing $12 million in federal student aid; and the former dean of the Fox Business School at Temple University, who was convicted of wire fraud for submitting false data to U.S. News & World Report for rankings.
The Education Department can suspend or debar administrators or employees of an institution, leaders, third-party servicers or anyone else who “constitute[s] a risk to the integrity of the programs administered under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965,” which authorizes federal financial aid programs, according to the notice. Suspension or debarment means individuals can’t participate in transactions with the department or other federal agencies.