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Center for American Progress

Looking in All the Wrong Places: College Oversight Source Documents

Looking in All the Wrong Places: College Oversight Source Documents

This index contains a sample of documents from the U.S. Department of Education that evaluate American colleges, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The analysis in “Looking in All the Wrong Places: How the Monitoring of Colleges Misses What Matters Most” is based upon a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request filed by the Center for American Progress. To help readers better understand our findings and analysis, as well as conduct their own reviews, we are making the documents received through the request publicly available below.

We initiated our FOIA request with the U.S. Department of Education in May 2014.Specifically, we sought documents that higher education institutions periodically submit to the department in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid for students. We understood those documents to include: (1) an application signed by the head of an institution, which, among other things, declares intent to comply with various rules and regulations; (2) an annual audited financial statement; and (3) an annual compliance audit. We asked for an electronic file of these documents for “all institutions” that participate in student aid programs.

In response to the FOIA request, Department of Education staff informed us that the documents reside at regional offices and are not available in electronic form. Given the enormous volume of documents, they asked whether we could narrow our request. We agreed to revise it to the documents from the 100 largest nonpublic institutions handled by three of the agency’s regional offices: San Francisco; Kansas City, Missouri; and Philadelphia. In response, we ultimately received more than 6,000 pages of documents featuring information on 130 institutions and companies; this was the most recently available information at the time of our request.

To help the public understand the information received through our FOIA request, we have organized the documents by the entity that controls a college or group of colleges. In other words, the documents for the 17 campuses under the Everest College brand are all grouped under those schools’ owner at the time—Corinthian Colleges Inc.

Private, nonprofit institutions are labeled by the college name, and for-profit education companies are labeled by the owning company name, with a list of all the colleges included in the batch of documents. This index includes the following:

  • Applications from 72 institutions to participate in federal financial aid programs. These are printouts of the electronic applications that college officials had completed at the time of the request. We also received the most recent—at the time of the request—Eligibility and Certification Approval Report, or ECAR, for 24 institutions. Department of Education staff generates this document, which details information about an institution’s leadership and accreditation, its programs, and the types of financial aid that students enrolled in those programs are eligible to receive.
  • Compliance audits for 121 institutions. These documents determine if the entity is meeting specific rules or standards set in law. In some cases, these were included as part of audited financial statements; more often, they were stand-alone documents.
  • Audited financial statements for 37 institutions or companies. These documents detail an institution’s financial condition at a particular point in time.

In general, compliance audits covered one college within a chain of colleges, while financial statements covered an enterprise as a whole. This distinction explains the large differences in the number of documents for each of the three types.

appendixCollege oversight documents received from a 2014 FOIA request
No. Pages Entity name Schools
1 185 American Career College Inc.
  • American Career CollegeLos Angeles, CA
  • American Career CollegeOntario, CA
  • American Career College at St. FrancisLynwood, CA
  • West Coast UniversityLos Angeles, CA
2 80 American Public Education Inc.
  • American Public University SystemCharles Town, WV
3 58 American University
  • American UniversityWashington, D.C.
4 64 Apollo Education Group
  • University of PhoenixTempe, AZ
  • Western International UniversityPhoenix, AZ
5 58 Azusa Pacific University
  • Azusa Pacific UniversityAzusa, CA
6 235 Career Education Corporation
  • California Culinary Academy – Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary ArtsSan Francisco, CA
  • Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary ArtsPittsburgh, PA
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary ArtsPasadena, CA
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary ArtsPortland, OR
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary ArtsScottsdale, AZ
  • Missouri CollegeBrentwood, MO
  • Sanford-Brown CollegeMcLean, VA
  • Sanford-Brown CollegePittsburgh, PA
  • Sanford-Brown CollegeFenton, MO
7 58 Columbia College
  • Columbia CollegeColumbia, MD
8 239 Concorde Career Colleges Inc.
  • Concorde Career CollegeGarden Grove, CA
  • Concorde Career CollegeKansas City, MO
  • Concorde Career CollegeMemphis, TN
  • Concorde Career CollegeNorth Hollywood, CA
  • Concorde Career CollegePortland, OR
  • Concorde Career CollegeSan Bernadino, CA
  • Concorde Career CollegeSan Diego, CA
9 978 Corinthian Colleges Inc.
  • Everest CollegeAlhambra, CA
  • Everest CollegeAnaheim, CA
  • Everest CollegeBremerton, WA
  • Everest CollegeGardena, CA
  • Everest CollegeHenderson, NV
  • Everest CollegeOntario, CA
  • Everest CollegePhoenix, AZ
  • Everest CollegePortland, OR
  • Everest CollegeRenton, WA
  • Everest CollegeReseda, CA
  • Everest CollegeSan Bernadino, CA
  • Everest CollegeSeattle, WA
  • Everest CollegeSpringfield, MO
  • Everest CollegeTorrance, CA
  • Everest CollegeNewport News, VA
  • Everest InstituteCross Lanes, WV
  • Everest InstitutePhiladelphia, PA
  • Heald CollegeSan Francisco, CA
  • Wyotech Long Beach – Corinthian Colleges Inc.Long Beach, CA
  • Wyotech – Corinthian Colleges IncFremont, CA
10 70 Creighton University
  • Creighton UniversityOmaha, NE
11 35 Crimson Aero Corporation
  • Crimson Aero CorporationInglewood, CA
12 170 Delta Career Education Corporation
  • Berks Technical InstituteWyomissing, PA
  • McCann School of Business & TechnologyPottsville, PA
  • Miller-Motte Technical CollegeClarksville, TN
  • Miller-Motte Technical CollegeLynchburg, VA
13 239 DeVry Inc.
  • Carrington CollegeBoise, ID
  • Carrington CollegePhoenix, AZ
  • Carrington CollegePortland, OR
  • Carrington College of CaliforniaPhoenix, AZ
  • Devry UniversityDowners Grove, IL
14 80 Drexel University
  • Drexel UniversityPhiladelphia, PA
15 464 Education Affiliates Inc.
  • All-State Career SchoolLester, PA
  • All-State Careeer SchoolWest Mifflin, PA
  • All-State Career SchoolBaltimore, MD
  • Fortis CollegeNorfolk, VA
  • Fortis CollegeTowson, MD
  • Fortis InstituteCookeville, TN
  • Fortis InstituteErie, PA
  • Fortis InstituteForty Fort, PA
  • Fortis InstituteScranton, PA
16 494 Education Management Corporation
  • Argosy UniversityOrange, CA
  • Art Institute of PhilaeldphiaPhiladelphia, PA
  • Art Institute of PhoenixPhoenix, AZ
  • Art Institute of PittsburghPittsburgh, PA
  • Art Institute of PortlandPortland, OR
  • Art Institute of SeattleSeattle, WA
  • Art Institute of YorkYork, PA
  • Brown Mackie CollegeSalina, CA
17 208 Education Training Corporation
  • Anthem CollegeMaryland Heights, MD
  • Anthem Career CollegePhoenix, AZ
  • Anthem InstituteSpringfield, MO
  • The Bryman School of ArizonaPhoenix, AZ
18 176 Empire Education Group
  • Empire Beauty SchoolLancaster, PA
  • Empire Beauty SchoolWhitehall, PA
  • Empire Beauty SchoolTucson, AZ
  • Empire Beauty SchoolMonroeville, PA
  • Empire Beauty SchoolLakewood, CO
  • Empire Beauty SchoolShamokin Dam, PA
  • Empire Beauty SchoolExton, PA
19 79 The George Washington University
  • The George Washington UniversityWashington, D.C.
20 181 Georgetown University
  • Georgetown UniversityWashington, D.C.
21 159 Howard University
  • Howard UniversityWashington, D.C.
22 137 Johns Hopkins University
  • Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore, MD
23 345 Kaplan Higher Education Corporation
  • Kaplan Career InstituteHarrisburg, PA
  • Kaplan Career InstituteNashville, TN
  • Kaplan Career InstitutePhiladelphia, PA
  • Kaplan Career InstitutePittsburgh, PA
  • Kaplan UniversityDavenport, IA
  • TESST College of TechnologyBaltimore, MD
  • TESST College of TechnologyBeltsville, MD
  • TESST College of TechnologyTowson, MD
24 26 Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic MedicineErie, PA
25 68 Liberty University Inc.
  • Liberty UniveristyLynchburg, VA
26 70 Lincoln Educational Services Corporation
  • Lincoln Technical InstituteColumbia, MD
  • Lincoln Technical InstitutePhiladelphia, PA
27 60 Loma Linda University
  • Loma Linda UniversityLoma Linda, CA
28 47 Loyola Marymount University
  • Loyola Marymount UniversityLos Angeles, CA
29 51 National University
  • National UniversityLa Jolla, CA
30 51 Pepperdine University
  • Pepperdine UniversityMalibu, CA
31 88 Saint Louis University
  • Saint Louis UniversitySt. Louis, MO
32 87 Strayer Education Inc.
  • Strayer UniversityWashington, D.C.
33 94 Temple University
  • Temple UniversityPhiladelphia, PA
34 87 Universal Technical Institute Inc.
  • Motorcycle Mechanics InstitutePhoenix, AZ
  • Universal Technical InstituteAvondale, AZ
35 144 University of Pennsylvania
  • University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, PA
36 71 University of San Francisco
  • University of San FranciscoSan Francisco
37 82 University of Southern California
  • University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA
38 48 University of the Pacific
  • University of the PacificStockton, CA
39 147 Vatterott Educational Centers Inc.
  • Vatterott CollegeBerkeley, MO
  • Vatterott CollegeDes Moines, IA
  • Vatterott CollegeOmaha, NE
40 62 Webster University
  • Webster UniversitySt. Louis, MO
41 53 Western University of Health Sciences
  • Western University of Health SciencesPomona, CA
42 39 Westwood College
  • Westwood CollegeLos Angeles, CA
  • Westwood CollegeTorrance, CA

Elizabeth Baylor is the Director of Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Elizabeth Baylor

Director, Postsecondary Education