In another blow to the for-profit higher education industry, the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday announced it is banning ITT Technical Institute from enrolling new students who receive federal aid, and requiring the for-profit company to pay $153 million to cover student refunds.

Federal officials have found ITT Tech to be out of compliance with its accreditor’s standards.

In a statement, Education Secretary John B. King said the government is trying to protect students and taxpayers.

“Looking at all of the risk factors, it’s clear that we need increased financial protection and that it simply would not be responsible or in the best interest of students to allow ITT to continue enrolling new students who rely in federal student aid funds,” King said.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has been seeking penalties against the for-profit school, which runs more than 130 campuses across the country, including two campuses in Norwood and Wilmington.

In April, Healey sued ITT for using aggressive sales tactics and misleading students about their job prospects.

In a statement, Healey said the Department’s action sends a clear message: Schools that rely on federal dollars will be held accountable.

Current ITT students have a few options: They can continue their course, transfer credits to a new school that will accept them or wait to see how federal and state investigations resolve.

Related: Nation’s Largest Accreditor Itself Faces Deaccreditation

[Cross-posted at On Campus: the WGBH News Higher Education Blog]

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Kirk Carapezza is the lead reporter for On Campus. Kirk has reported for Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, Wis., and Vermont Public Radio in Montpelier, Vt. He's been a writer and producer at WBUR in Boston; a teacher and coach at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Mass.; a Fenway Park tour guide; and a tourist abroad.

Kirk received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and earned his M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. When he's not reporting or editing stories on campus, you can find him posting K's on the Wall at Fenway.