Durbin To Illinois AG Raoul: We Must Protect Students From Predatory For-Profit College Industry
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) warned Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul about the potential financial dangers posed to Illinois students by the for-profit college industry during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In a letter to AG Raoul, Durbin urged the state to remain watchful and vigilant when it comes to for-profit colleges, which have a long history of fraud and abuse that peaks during times of great economic uncertainty. Durbin cited reports that for-profit colleges are actively seeking ways to capitalize on mass unemployment and monetize the pandemic.
“The CEO of for-profit American Public Education Inc., removed all doubt when she recently admitted that, ‘The pandemic has created an unexpected opportunity.’ Predatory for-profit Ashford University is hiring hundreds of new recruiters to take advantage. And we know who the victims of their efforts will largely be—students of color, those who come from low-income or non-traditional backgrounds, and veterans,” Durbin wrote. “The pandemic has created the perfect storm for for-profit colleges to prey on students: mass unemployment and economic uncertainty, the need for widespread distance learning, and billions more in federal dollars at play.”
Durbin warned that it’s likely, without proper safeguards, that for-profit colleges will use funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to recruit students and pad their financial bottom lines.
Full text of the letter is available here and below: