Durbin Statement On Latest In String Of For-Profit College Closures

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement after Minnesota-based Regency Beauty Institute became the latest for-profit college to close its doors, leaving students in academic and financial limbo.
“Another overcharging, underperforming for-profit ‘college’ has closed its doors. It won’t be the last. If you think the pace of closure of these half-baked excuses for higher education and training is becoming more frequent, you are not wrong. Now with the collapse of Regency Beauty Institute, another 700 students in Illinois and 6000 nationwide are left high and dry.
“As I fight to spare these students from the burden of their for-profit college debt, we must remember that the ultimate losers are the taxpayers. We gave Regency $50 million in taxpayer dollars last year through federal grants and student loans. The Regency Institute operators took the millions, pulled the plug, and left the students and taxpayers high and dry. How much longer will Uncle Sam be Uncle Sucker when it comes to these for-profit scams?
“Look at the numbers when it comes to the tuition costs for comparable training at a Chicago City College ($7,539) or Lake Land College ($7,013) downstate compared to around $18,000 at Regency.
“I am calling on high school teachers and principals in Illinois to warn their students about the danger of enrolling in a for-profit college. The tuition is on average dramatically higher than city and community colleges. The teachers are often unprepared to teach. The credit hours you earn can rarely be transferred. The debt you will incur is substantially higher, and because of the low wages you face when you graduate, you risk becoming one of the for-profit students responsible for 40 percent of student loan defaults.  

“Finally, we need to warn our students in Illinois that nationally the graduates of for-profit colleges earn less than high school dropouts.
“Because the Department of Education is finally stepping up to challenge the practices of these for-profit colleges, question their shaky accreditation, measure the actual jobs students find against the promises, and look at the awful student loan default rates, this industry is starting to crumble. It’s about time.”
Earlier this month, for-profit giant ITT Tech announced that it would halt operations and shut down all of its campuses after the U.S. Department of Education decided to withdraw its participation from the federal Title IV program. Last week, the Education Department announced, pending appeal, that it would terminate recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), the nation’s largest accreditor of for-profit colleges, including the now-defunct ITT Tech, Corinthian, and Westwood Colleges.