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Department of Education Set To Release Staff Report On For-Profit College Accreditor ACICS

Victory for Transparency, Accountability Comes As ACICS Withdraws Motion To Block Release of Report in Ongoing Legal Dispute with NSLDN, TCF

(Washington, D.C.) – In direct response to a lawsuit filed by the National Student Legal Defense Network (“NSLDN”) on behalf of The Century Foundation (“TCF”), the U.S. Department of Education has committed to releasing its career staff’s analysis of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools’ (“ACICS”) suitability to once again serve as an accreditor of institutions of higher education. The Department’s agreement to release the materials by close of business on Friday, June 8, comes after a protracted legal dispute in which ACICS has fought tooth and nail to intervene in the case and block the document’s release. Tuesday evening, ACICS withdrew its attempt to intervene ahead of a court deadline, paving the way for the public to see what the Department career staff really think of the embattled accreditor.

NSLDN and TCF representatives issued the following in response:

“While disappointed that it took the filing of a federal lawsuit to force Secretary DeVos to release the career staff report on ACICS, we are encouraged that the public will now get to see the current record of an accreditor that continuously turned a blind eye to companies committing massive fraud on students, costing taxpayers billions,” said Alex Elson, senior counsel at NSLDN.

“Betsy DeVos’s recent decision to temporarily restore ACICS’s recognition as an accreditor was premature and not based on a holistic view of ACICS’s record of performance. We are pleased that ACICS has stopped trying to block the release of this analysis prepared by career staff, and look forward to reviewing it in the context of ACICS’s ongoing effort to be reinstated as an accreditor,” said Robert Shireman, senior fellow at The Century Foundation.