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85 Colleges Kept Aid After DeVos Restored Accreditor

July 3, 2018
 
 

Eighty-five colleges overseen by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools would likely have lost access to federal student aid -- and most of their revenue -- if Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had not opted to temporarily reinstate the accreditor earlier this year.

An analysis from the Center for American Progress, out today, finds that those institutions had failed to get approval from another accrediting agency by a June 12 deadline in place since the Obama administration withdrew recognition from ACICS 18 months before. Another 61 colleges formerly approved by ACICS have closed and 111 have received recognition from a different accrediting body.

The remaining institutions received a combined $772 million in federal student in the 2016-17 academic year, the analysis finds -- a steep drop-off from the nearly $5 billion that went to ACICS colleges in the prior year.

The Trump administration is expected to issue a decision on the long-term status of ACICS by the end of July after a federal court ordered the Education Department to review additional documents submitted by the accreditor. An internal staff report that will not be considered as part of that review found the accreditor failed a majority of federal standards. Even if the administration denies recognition, the 85 remaining ACICS institutions will have another 18 months to seek approval elsewhere.

The largest share of ACICS colleges are operated by Education Corporation of America, including Brightwood College and Virginia College, which was denied recognition elsewhere in May.

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