Betsy DeVos has effectively killed the government team that investigates fraud at for-profit colleges

  • A special team that investigated for-profit college fraud has dwindled to three members during Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ time in the role.
  • The team emerged during the Obama Administration in the wake of closures to for-profit colleges.
  • The Trump Administration has had a friendlier relationship with the sector.

Betsy DeVos, has effectively killed the team within the Department of Education (ED) charged with investigating for-profit college fraud and malfeasance, The New York Times reported.

Former employees on the special team, which has now dwindled to three members, have been reassigned to different roles, according to The Times.

The group expanded during the Obama Administration as a watchdog to investigate allegations of fraudulent practices in the for-profit college industry, emerging in the wake of closures of the largest for-profit institutions, like Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech, amid claims the schools defrauded students.

The Trump Administration has had a friendlier relationship with the sector. During Secretary DeVos’ time at the department, she has added former for-profit college leaders to the ranks of the ED, according to The Times. A former dean at DeVry, Julian Schmoke, for example, ran the special team for a period of time.

Elizabeth Hill, a spokeswoman for the ED, told the Times that none of the new employees who had previously worked in the for-profit education industry had influenced the unit’s work.

Earlier this year, DeVos pared back disclosure requirements which aimed to hold for-profit and other career-oriented colleges accountable.

Read the full report at The New York Times »