Ed Dept accuses college operator of selling enrollments when shutting down

by Jeremy

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Education raised concerns last week that a college operator closing its locations isn’t giving students enough information about their options to transfer to other institutions or receive student loan discharges.
  • The department outlined the potential issues in a letter to the CEO of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education, or CEHE, a Utah-based nonprofit that ran several colleges but is shutting down operations, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported.
  • CEHE struck an agreement with two universities that allows the college operator to profit if students transfer there, and students are being pressured to attend them, according to the letter.

Dive Insight:

CEHE’s management of Independence University, California College San Diego, and the CollegeAmerica chain has long been fraught. The schools faced several accusations that they were misleading students and delivering poor student outcomes. The Obama administration’s Department of Education fought against allowing the colleges to convert to nonprofit status, but the department granted the conversion in the Trump era. The accreditor for CEHE’s


Colleges said it was withdrawing Independence University‘s accreditation in April because it failed to demonstrate acceptable student outcomes. Last August, the decision came after a Colorado judge ordered the CollegeAmerica chain to pay $3 million for promising students job opportunities and earnings that its programs couldn’t deliver.

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