Education Department Dismantles Team Investigating For-Profit Fraud

Education Department Dismantles Team Investigating For-Profit Fraud

The team emerged during the Obama Administration in the wake of closures to for-profit colleges.

Other for-profit colleges like Bridgepoint, which was under investigation, has deep ties to the administration. They are no longer investigating DeVry Education Group, Career Education Corporation, or Bridgepoint Education, which are prominent for-profit college companies.

The team was first created back in 2016 after investigators found evidence of widespread fraud at for-profit giant Corinthian Colleges.

Many for-profit colleges have used deceptive marketing, messed with job placement rates to make students think they'd have a better shot after graduation than they actually do, and targeted low-income students, which resulted in students carrying debt they struggle to pay off with the incomes they have post-graduation.

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However, once President Trump took office, policies within the department quickly began to shift, according to the Times. Members also needed permission to ask for documents necessary for their work.

There are only three employees on the team now, who focus on student loan forgiveness and compliance cases.

The investigation into DeVry ground to a halt early previous year. These investigations have largely come to a halt in the past year. "Secretary DeVos has filled the department with for-profit college hacks who only care about making sham schools rich and shutting down investigations into fraud", Warren told the Times. The consulting and lobbying firm, Cove Strategies, which she founded with her husband Matt Schlapp, worked with Bridgepoint and is still a Cove client.

The Education Department spokeswoman told the Times that the department's new mission is "focused on weeding out bad actors" across institutions of higher education, "not capriciously targeting schools based on their tax status". Students who attended for-profit colleges were twice as likely or more to default on their loans than students who attended public schools, according to a new federal study. But there are alternatives these students can consider. But for years, for-profits had charged students almost five times as much as community colleges, while getting the bulk of their revenue, up to 90 percent, from student loans and grants - often from the federal government. And most have online degree programs for students unable to attend classes.

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