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Dream Center

The Dream Center was a nonprofit organization that owned and operated chains of proprietary colleges including Argosy University and the Art Institutes. Student Defense is representing former Dream Center students in a number of lawsuits (Infusino v. DeVos, Dunagan v. Illinois Institute of Art, and the Dream Center receivership proceedings).

FOIA Requests


DCEH Communications - August 18, 2020

Seeking: Any communication between or among Diane Auer Jones, Mitchell Zais, Michael Frola, Robert King and Herman Bounds, regarding the Dream Center, Dream Center Education Holdings, the Art Institutes, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, or the Higher Learning Commission from November 1, 2017 to the date of this request.


On February 2, 2021, the Department of Education provided an interim response to this request. The responsive documents are available below:


Third Party Legal Advice - May 24, 2019

On May 24, 2019, Student Defense submitted a FOIA requesting documents regarding the extent to which the Department is receiving legal advice and communications from representatives of educational institutions regarding matters such as Dream Center Educational Holdings LLC and Dream Center Foundation, the Department’s management of its authority to place institutions on Heightened Cash Monitoring, and the Department’s use of Letters of Credit to manage taxpayer risks. On October 29, 2019, Student Defense sued to force the release of the documents.



Annual Reports of EDMC/Dream Center Settlement Administrator - February 6, 2019

Seeking: Three annual reports prepared by the Settlement Administrator in connection with the 2015 settlements between Education Management Corporation (preceding owner of Dream Center schools) and 40 state attorneys general. These reports describe how EDMC and its successor, Dream Center Educational Holdings, were required to resolve consumer protection claims arising out of EDMC’s predatory recruitment and enrollment practices. 


On February 6, 2019 Student Defense obtained the annual reports of the EDMC/Dream Center Settlement Administrator. These reports: 1) confirmed Student Defense allegations in Dunagan v. Illinois Institute of Art and requires DCEH to provide a full remedy to harmed students; 2) identified two additional areas of substantial non-compliance with the consent judgement regarding gainful employment regulations and Woz. U; 3) raised serious concerns about DCEH leadership.

  • The First Report is available here.
  • The Second Report is available here.
  • The Third Report is available here.


Documents Regarding Oversight of Dream Center Schools - November 30, 2018

Seeking: In November and December 2018, Student Defense submitted multiple FOIA requests for Dream Center documents including the Program Participation Agreements of four Art Institute schools owned by the Dream Center, Letters of Credit held by the Department for all Dream Center schools, and communications between the Department and the company about the accreditation status of certain schools. On May 22, 2019 Student Defense and American Oversight sued the Department of Education to force the release of these documents. 


The Department of Education provided a series of monthly productions of responsive documents. Documents obtained are available here:


Documents Regarding Sale of Schools to Dream Center - March 2017

Seeking: In March and July 2017, The Century Foundation submitted multiple FOIA requests for documents regarding the acquisition of for-profit schools by the Dream Center. On April 16, 2018, Student Defense sued the Department of Education to force the release of these documents.