Scott Statement in Support of Enhanced Federal Aid Participation Requirements for ACICS-accredited Colleges
WASHINGTON – Today, Ranking Member Bobby Scott issued the following statement today after the Education Secretary John B. King, Jr. affirmed the decision made by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) to terminate the recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS):
“I applaud Secretary King’s decision to affirm the termination of ACICS’ recognition as an accreditor. In our higher education system, accreditors are a vital check on institutional quality. Strong accreditation standards protect not just the federal investment in higher education, but the trust to provide students with a meaningful degree or credential. This has traditionally been how standards of quality in higher education have been enforced. For too long, ACICS allowed schools with poor student outcomes to receive billions of dollars in federal student aid without demanding improvement. Corinthian Colleges and ITT Institutes, whose sudden closures left thousands of students and employees in dire positions, were both accredited by ACICS. While ACICS suggested it could make changes to its standards and personnel that would result in stronger institutions, these promises were untimely and in some cases, unfulfilled.
“It is now up to the Department of Education to ensure that ACICS schools have the necessary information to transition to recognized accreditors. Many of these schools will be able to meet the higher standards of other accreditors and will transition to new accreditors over the next 18 months. I hope the Department, in coordination with state level higher education authorizers, assists these schools in their transition to make the process seamless for students. In situations where an institution cannot obtain new accreditation, the Department must work to provide students with the information they need to make an informed choice on how and where to continue their education.”
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