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Sen. Durbin's continuing effort to warn about for-profit colleges

Dear IFT Member,

I want to share an important letter Senator Dick Durbin sent to Illinois educators, counselors, and principals as part of his continuing campaign to alert students and their families to the dangers of for-profit colleges.

For the11th consecutive year, Senator Durbin is sounding the alarm about the risks of enrolling in for-profit higher education institutions. As you probably know, these predatory schools sink students into a lifetime of debt with flashy advertising and false promises of affordability and high-paying futures.

“For-profit colleges frequently offer promises of well-paying jobs in a field of study, but in reality, they exploit students through poor-quality education and high prices. For-profit colleges spend heavily on marketing and recruitment, bombarding students with misleading messages, and they target students from low-income communities and communities of color."

Several companies that operate for-profit institutions in Illinois are currently under investigation, facing lawsuits, or have recently paid millions in settlement fees because of their deceptive practices, or have been found guilty of fraud in a court of law including:

·    American Intercontinental University and Colorado Technical University – owned by

Perdoceo Education Corporation (formerly Career Education Corporation)

·    Ashford University – owned by University of Arizona and operating as University of

Arizona Global Campus

·    Capella University – owned by Strategic Education, Inc.

·    Chamberlain University and Walden University, which are owned by Adtalem Global

Education, and DeVry University, which was formerly owned by Adtalem Global Education

·    Empire Beauty School

·    Grand Canyon University

·    Kaplan University – now known as Purdue University Global

·    Lincoln Educational Services – operating in Illinois as Lincoln College of Technology

·    University of Phoenix

Several other for-profit institutions have been placed on Heightened Cash Monitoring (HCM) status by the U.S. Department of Education. Institutions are placed on HCM when the Department has identified concerns about to the school’s financial instability or compliance issues with federal regulations. Anyone considering these colleges should be extremely cautious.

As Durbin notes,

“Here is one data point I hope you will remember and explain to your students: for-profit schools enroll just eight percent of all postsecondary students but account for 30 percent of all federal student loan defaults.”

Once again, I thank Senator Durbin for leading this important fight to protect our students and their families.

As always, thanks for all you do.

In solidarity,

Dan Montgomery, IFT President

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