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U.S. Urged to Deny Aid to For-Profits That Force Arbitration

February 24, 2016

Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, filed a petition today with the U.S. Department of Education to demand that for-profit institutions that require students to sign predispute arbitration clauses not be allowed to receive federal funding.

"Taxpayers should not have to subsidize predatory schools that deny their students a day in court," said Julie Murray, an attorney with Public Citizen and author of the petition, in a news release. "The Department of Education should work quickly to protect students and their families from predatory schools trying to immunize themselves from accountability for their wrongdoing."

The petition also urges the department to bar institutions from including arbitration clauses in enrollment or other agreements with students as a condition of receiving federal aid.

Critics of for-profits have argued for years that students who are forced to sign arbitration agreements as part of enrollment are left without much legal recourse when they're defrauded by the institutions.

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Ashley A. Smith

Ashley A. Smith, Reporter, covers community colleges, for-profit schools and non-traditional students for Inside Higher Ed. She joined the publication in 2015 after covering government and K-12 education for the Fort Myers News-Press in Florida for three years. Ashley also covered K-12 and higher education for three years at the Marshfield News-Herald in Wisconsin. She has interned with The Flint Journal, USA Today and the Detroit Free Press. Ashley grew up in Detroit and is a 2008 graduate of Michigan State University. 

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