STATEMENT: New Trump Administration Rule Would Undercut College Accreditation Oversight, Harming Students and Taxpayers

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Trump administration released a final rule to deregulate oversight of the nation’s college accreditors, which are tasked with ensuring that schools are meeting basic quality standards. Antoinette Flores, associate director for Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

The week after we find out that the Department of Education funneled nearly $11 million in federal student aid to unaccredited for-profit schools, the Trump administration releases this dangerous rule to ease already-lax oversight of the nation’s college accreditors. Among other measures, this proposal would further open the spigot of taxpayer money going to failed and closing schools, conceal information from the public about the accreditation oversight process, and diminish the value of accreditor standards.

These changes will lead to more students going to schools ill-equipped to provide them a quality education, while simultaneously enriching executives and shareholders of the nation’s most predatory colleges. The simple question to ask is: Whose interest is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos truly serving?

To protect students and taxpayers, Congress should pass the College Affordability Act, which would require college accreditors to focus more on student outcomes in evaluating program quality, make more information publicly available, and crack down on corruption and conflicts of interest in accreditation oversight.

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