Education Department

Has the Conversation Changed?

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WASHINGTON -- Leaders in for-profit higher education have historically tried to deflect criticism of the institutions by pointing to a few misbehaving "bad actors" who aggressively recruit unqualified students, keep them enrolled for as long as possible while burying them in debt and, if students stick it out long enough, award them worthless degrees.

What Harkin Wants

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WASHINGTON -- If it wasn't already clear that the U.S. Senate was putting plenty of pressure on for-profit colleges, the detailed information the body's leading voice on education is seeking from 30 companies and institutions makes it pretty obvious.

Did the Department Drop the Ball?

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WASHINGTON -- The Government Accountability Office’s “secret shopper” investigation of recruiting practices at for-profit colleges was a mixed blessing for the U.S. Department of Education.

At one level, the findings presented at last week’s Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing were a vindication. Videotaped evidence pointed to fraud at four colleges, and questionable or deceptive practices at all 15 campuses investigated.

Damaging Data on Loan Repayment

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In further justifying "gainful employment" rules, U.S. suggests that comparatively few borrowers at for-profit colleges repay loans -- an assertion the colleges dispute.

A New Leaf at Phoenix?

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For-profit giant -- under fire in Congress -- announces shifts in recruiting tactics.

Watching a Watchdog

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The Washington Post faces questions over its support for for-profit higher ed -- including visits to Congress by Don Graham on behalf of Kaplan.

Phoenix Pays to Tell Its Story

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For-profit college turns to events co-branded with media outlets to change minds and critics wonder about the journalistic ethics of providing positive PR.

Monitoring the For-Profits

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Education Department and accreditors say it's not their job to police colleges, and point to states. Wisconsin regulators are willing -- but not quite able -- to patrol the beat.

Duking It Out on 'Gainful Employment'

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WASHINGTON – After more than a year of wrangling, the last chance for colleges, associations and individuals to weigh in on the U.S. Department of Education’s “gainful employment" rules came to a close last week with the end of the public comment period on the department’s proposed regulations.

Defaults Edge Higher

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Education Department data show growing numbers of borrowers are unable to repay their federal loans -- especially at for-profit colleges.

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