The House Takes on For-Profit Admissions Corruption

I’ll have more on it later, but the House Committee on Education and Labor’s Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness Subcommittee is holding a pretty important hearing today on “Ensuring Student Eligibility Requirements for Financial Aid.” It’s pegged to a GAO report I blogged about here, where I quoted Inside Higher Ed:

The General Accounting Office (GAO) recently released a report revealing that some publicly traded for-profit colleges have been pumping up their enrollment numbers by deliberately admitting unqualified students.

Federal law requires that students who have neither a high-school diploma nor its equivalent must pass a government approved “ability to benefit” (ATB) test before becoming eligible to obtain federal financial aid to pay for college. But during an undercover investigation it conducted at a local branch campus of a large proprietary school chain, the GAO discovered that the school helped prospective students cheat on the ATB test. In addition, while conducting site visits at for-profit colleges around the country, the accountability identified incidents at “two separate publicly traded proprietary schools” in which recruiters “referred students to diploma mills for invalid high school diplomas in order to gain access to federal loans without having to take an ATB test.”

The hearing is being webcast here.

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Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.