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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

California AG Harris Continues Fight Against For-Profit Schools Allegedly Defrauding Consumers

State Attorney General Student Lending Department of Education Enforcement

Consumer Finance

On June 2, California AG Kamala Harris sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education requesting that it revoke the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools’ (ACICS) status as a recognized accreditor of for-profit schools. In the letter, AG Harris cited to state and federal enforcement actions taken against Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (Corinthian) – a non-profit school accredited by ACICS – for engaging in allegedly predatory and deceptive marketing practices. According to AG Harris, “ACICS failed to uphold their commitment ‘to the importance of a quality education experience for all students’ when they continued to accredit Corinthian campuses in the face of regulatory and enforcement actions.” AG Harris joins 13 other state Attorneys General in opposition to ACICS’s application for renewal as an accreditor. In a letter submitted to the Department of Education in April of this year, those 13 other state Attorneys General discussed similar alleged failings by ACICS in their respective states.

AG Harris’s recent letter comes after a February 25, 2016 statement requesting that the Department of Education revise its proposed regulations relating to debt relief for students affected by for-profit schools’ allegedly deceitful practices, and also follows the AG’s $1.1 billion judgment against Corinthian.