Durbin: Department of Education Tightens Controls on ITT Tech
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) responded today to a move by the Department of Education to tighten controls over ITT Tech after finding that the for-profit college – facing investigations by the Department of Justice and at least 18 state Attorneys General and lawsuits by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Securities and Exchange Commission– failed to meet its fiduciary obligations and the administrative capability standards required of institutions participating in Title IV federal funding programs. The announcement was made in a letter from the Department to ITT Tech.
ITT Tech currently operates at least four campuses in Illinois including Arlington Heights, Orland Park, Oak Brook, and Springfield. Earlier today, the for-profit college chain announced that it would be suspending new enrollments at several of its campuses around the country.
“The bright lights of state and federal regulators are shining on the wrongdoing and abuses of ITT Tech like never before,” said Durbin. “At the same time, this company, deemed ‘not financially responsible’ by the U.S. Department of Education, continues to receive billions in federal Title IV dollars. Isn’t it time to protect students and taxpayers and turn out the lights at ITT?”
In May, following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit against ITT Tech and two of its executives for fraud, Durbin called on the Illinois Board of Higher Education to take appropriate action against ITT Tech to protect current students and ensure that additional students are not harmed. He also sent a letter to Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, requesting information about the actions the Department has taken, and will take, to investigate and respond to fraud and other wrongdoing at Career Education Corporation, Education Management Corporation and ITT Tech.
For-Profit College Industry
For-profit institutions of higher education enroll about 10 percent of all college students, but take in 20 percent of the Department of Education’s federal student aid funds and account for 44 percent of student loan defaults. Since the collapse of Corinthian Colleges, Incorporated, the for-profit college industry is experiencing a long overdue reckoning as state and federal investigations and lawsuits against the largest companies continue to accumulate.
- ITT Tech is under investigation by at least 18 state Attorneys General and the U.S. Department of Justice and is being sued by the New Mexico Attorney General, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Education Management Corporation is under investigation by at least 14 state Attorneys General and is being sued by the Colorado Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Career Education Corporation is under investigation by 21 state Attorneys General.
- Other major for-profit college chains such as DeVry, Westwood, and Kaplan are also facing additional regulatory scrutiny.
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