- The U.S. Department of Education has denied an appeal from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) to be reinstated as a standards-monitoring organization on the government's behalf, which places more than 600,000 students in jeopardy of losing financial aid in the next 18 months.
- ACICS officials vowed to appeal the decision in the courts, but ED officials cited a continuing lack of compliance from the accreditor as the primary reason for its original revocation of accrediting authority and its recent appeal denial.
- More than 250 ACICS member schools received $4.7 billion in federal student aid last year and would be required to provide plans for helping students to transfer within 30 days of anticipated closure.
While it is likely that ACICS will seek legal redress of its ouster from federal accrediting authority, the larger question will be about timing for the organization. With the new White House expected to deregulate many aspects of higher education, ACICS and its members schools may be able to hold on just long enough for President-elect Trump's ED leadership to reverse the decision, and to create a new movement allowing for-profits to thrive.
Only time will tell how the new administration will impact the future of the industry, and its approach to enrolling students versus admitting students based upon their capacity to complete.