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STATEMENT: U.S. Department of Education’s Decision To Revoke Recognition of ACICS Is a Major Win for Students and Taxpayers

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it would revoke recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). The decision restores a move by the Obama administration to terminate the accreditor’s recognition for failing to comply with criteria for overseeing programs that rely on access to federal financial aid—and comes after a period of continued noncompliance following the Trump administration’s decision to restore recognition of ACICS. Marcella Bombardieri, senior fellow for Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

Multiple assessments from expert career staff responsible for accreditation oversight confirmed that ACICS has for years negligently given a green light to some of the worst programs in higher education. Today’s decision to strip ACICS of federal recognition is overdue justice for students and taxpayers who have foot the bill for degrees that do little to nothing to prepare students for gainful employment. This should serve as a warning to all accreditors that oversee programs that rely on federal financial aid that the U.S. Department of Education takes seriously its responsibility to do right by taxpayers and that institutions that prey on students trying to get ahead will be held accountable.

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For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.