Clinton hire signals more trouble for for-profits

Dive Brief:

  • Hillary Clinton recently announced the hiring of former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official Rohit Chopra as a part of her presidential transition team. Chopra was a key figure in the lawsuits which dismantled Corinthian Colleges and are in the process of closing ITT. 
  • The hire signals that Clinton, whose campaign has been criticized for previous ties to for-profit education companies, is seeking to maintain continual pressure on the industry accused of swindling millions of students out of billions of dollars in tuition. 
  • Clinton's higher education plan also seeks free tuition at public colleges and universities for families making less than $125,000 per year.

Dive Insight:

Clinton's hire may signal consumer protections for voters and families with college-bound students, but to college executives, the hire could be a looming sign of inquiry and doom. With a significant precedent set by lawsuits against Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech, smaller institutions with low endowments, high student loan default rates and marginal post-graduate outcomes may be next on the federal sweep of colleges to be denied access to federal student loan disbursements. 

Unless college officials begin working with federal legislators to begin the process of engagement with the Department of Education and other federal agencies with higher ed funding priorities, and pleading with state officials to recognize higher education as an industry which drives local economies, the two-pronged attack on liberal arts education is likely to continue with swift affect. 

Filed Under: Higher Ed For-Profit