Ranking Member Scott Statement on Education Corporation of America
WASHINGTON, DC – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) statement on today’s announcement that the Education Corporation of America (ECA) will close all of its more than 75 campuses, affecting roughly 20,000 students. ECA is accredited by ACICS and makes up about half of ACICS accredited schools. ECA’s abrupt closure calls into question the Department’s recent decision to reinstate ACICS as a recognized accreditor.
“We have repeatedly warned about the risks low-quality, for-profit education companies and irresponsible accreditors pose to students and taxpayers across the country. Today’s announcement is another painful reminder of those risks. Just as with ITT Technical Institute and Corinthian Colleges, Education Corporation of America’s (ECA) abrupt closing will leave thousands of students with non-transferrable credits, crippling debt, and few of the job opportunities they were promised. And, once again, the programs being shuttered were accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) until the day before ECA announced they were closing.
“Students, their families, and the federal government rely on accreditors to set a standard for quality higher education and determine which institutions should be eligible to receive federal student aid. It is particularly notable that within the past two weeks the Department moved to restore ACICS as a recognized accreditor, despite its long record of granting legitimacy to schools like ECA. Previously ECA unsuccessfully attempted to be recognized by another accreditor but was ultimately denied because they failed to meet the minimum standards.
“This announcement captures many of the substantive issues we have raised about the Department’s efforts to rollback accountability in for-profit education by lowering standards for schools and accreditors and making it harder for defrauded students to be made whole.
“I hope the Department will take this opportunity to rethink its recognition of ACICS as an accreditor.”
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