GOP Lawmakers Slam CFPB Probe Involving Accreditation

October 26, 2015

The Republican chairmen of the U.S. House and Senate education committees on Friday blasted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent demand for records from a national accrediting agency, calling the action an “unprecedented overreach.”

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Representative John Kline of Minnesota sent a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray asking him to rescind the bureau’s demand for records and testimony from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and to stop any other planned actions involving accreditors.

The two lawmakers said the CFPB had no jurisdiction over accrediting agencies. “This action is an unprecedented intrusion by your agency into higher education and undermines the process Congress created to assess institutional quality,” they wrote.

Inside Higher Ed reported earlier this month that the CFPB in August demanded records from ACICS as part of an investigation into possible “unlawful acts and practices in connection with accrediting for-profit colleges.” It is not clear whether ACICS, the largest national accrediting agency, is the target of the investigation.

ACICS petitioned the CFPB to drop its demand for records, arguing that the accrediting agency was not subject to the bureau’s jurisdiction. But the CFPB rejected that argument earlier this month.

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