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Opening a Dangerous Floodgate – Inside Higher Ed


Thomas Corbett, a former for-profit college executive, speaks out against plans by the U.S. Department of Education to weaken requirements for oversight of college quality.

U.S. secretary of education Betsy DeVos has recently launched an effort that may result in an abdication of her responsibility to safeguard federal taxpayer funds. Specifically, she seeks to eliminate and weaken many of the requirements put in place to protect taxpayers and students from being wrongly billed for a subpar college education. In doing so, she gravely underestimates the reality inside for-profit education companies and fails to realize that not all colleges put students first.

I have special insight into these issues, because I served in the executive ranks of several large for-profit college chains: University of Phoenix, Kaplan University and ITT Technical Institute. I would like to share my experience as a former campus president of the now-defunct ITT Tech.

I feel compelled to speak out as an Air Force veteran who was deeply troubled by the conduct of my former employers as they took advantage of thousands of veterans — to circumvent the federal 90-10 requirements and gain access to the financial benefits of the GI Bill.

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