ICFE eNEWS #16-26 - August 15th 2016
Student Debt and False Accreditation
Since 2008, ICFE, both directly and through its
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
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
A representative report on this problem is posted
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