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ICFE eNEWS #16-26 - August 15th 2016

Student Debt and False Accreditation

Since 2008, ICFE, both directly and through its StudentDebtHelp.org division, has worked with financial professionals to assist student with education-related debt to assert their rights and assure legal and regulatory compliance by debt collectors.

Recently, it has come to light that the agency responsible for accrediting academic institutions for participating in student loan programs has failed in many cases to carry out its duty to protect students against unscrupulous institutions. In many cases, it appears that the students have enrolled for courses that do not deliver the educational benefits and results they advertise. As a result, such students are now burdened with debt for which they have not received the expected value.

The nation's largest accreditor of for-profit colleges - the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, or ACICS - is at risk of being shut down. An advisory panel voted to recommend the government to cut ties with the accrediting group after discovering major problems in its standards, including the fact that it continued to give accreditation to the Corinthian Colleges chain while it was being investigated for fraud, according to an Associated Press report.

What does ACICS accredit?

The scope of recognition for ACICS accreditation includes, "postsecondary, non-degree-granting institutions and degree-granting institutions in the United States, including those granting associate, baccalaureate and master's degrees, that are predominantly organized to educate students for occupational, trade and technical careers, and including institutions that offer programs via distance education," according to the U.S. Department of Education's website.
Read more here

The Center for American Progress recently released a scathing report of the ACICS, revealing that from 2010 to 2015, there were 90 instances in which ACICS named campuses or institutions to its "honor roll" around the same time they were under federal or state investigation.

A representative report on this problem is posted at the Bankrate web site with the headline "Students face hard choices now that for-profit colleges may lose an accreditor."

Due to this development, ICFE is planning an informal survey of actual cases where students have assumed debt for educational services provided by colleges which have lost their accreditation.

If you are aware of such a case, and can report it back to ICFE, we will compile the results and then decide how best to proceed.

ICFE appreciates active participation by the thousands of professionals who have taken our certification courses, and your continuing interest in assisting consumers in protecting themselves against abusive practices.

Paul S Richard PhotoICFE eNEWS is available FREE upon request by visiting our Web site and filling out the contact form, and selecting "Yes" for "Add to Mailing List. Please pass this eNEWS on to your peers and interested others and invite them to subscribe for free. Also, visit the ICFE's new Web site: StudentDebtHelp.org

Sent by:

Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

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