Sign the petition to the Department of Education: Take action against predatory colleges.

The Department of Education

The student debt crisis is at a tipping point, with the total outstanding federal student loan debt reaching over $1.61 trillion. But this crisis didn’t just happen, and has been exacerbated by for-profit colleges.

For-profit colleges are institutions that operate as a business with a primary goal of maximizing profits for investors. They are more likely to engage in fraud and misleading advertising tactics and allow for abrupt mid-semester closures that leave students reeling. Additionally, Black and Hispanic students are overrepresented at for-profit colleges as a result of aggressive and misleading recruiting practices that target communities of color.

The data around for-profit institutions is staggering. For every tuition dollar a for-profit institution collects, an average of just 29 cents is spent on student instruction. In comparison, the average for private colleges is 84 cents, and $1.42 at public universities. Moreover, for-profit colleges are intensifying the student loan crisis, as for-profit colleges enroll just 8 percent of all U.S. students but account for 30% of student loan defaults.

This year, the Department of Education announced that nearly 16,000 borrowers would receive millions in loan repayments after an investigation found that four private for-profit institutions (DeVry University, Westwood College, ITT Nursing, and the Minnesota School of Business/Globe University) made deceptive claims about their job placement rates.

Something must be done to hold predatory institutions accountable.

Sign the petition to the Department of Education: Take action against predatory colleges.

To: The Department of Education
From: [Your Name]

For-profit colleges are playing a major role in the student debt crisis and purposefully targeting communities of color with shady recruitment tactics. These institutions should be held accountable for their job placement rates, student loan outcomes, and any and all types of misleading tactics they employ to recruit students for tuition dollars.

I’m calling on you to:
- Introduce a Gainful Employment Regulation, creating penalties for programs where graduates earn too little over a three-year period.

-Better draft, supervise, and enforce Provisional Program Participation Agreements to work as an enforceable corrective action plan with actionable benchmarks for improvement (or cancellation of federal funding for schools that violate federal standards).

-Fully fund public universities and community colleges to expand upon the options that prospective students have to get a degree.