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Jun 25, 2016 10:16 AM EDT

For-Profit Colleges News: An Advisory Panel Votes Against Accreditor Citing the Council’s Lack Of Seriousness!

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The United States' largest accreditor of for-profit colleges is facing a vote that could eventually lead to its downfall, leaving several students at risk of losing access of federal financial aid.

In what looks like a crucial vote that could eventually result in schools closing their doors and jeopardizing financial support to several students; an advisory panel to the Education Department on Thursday, June 23 has voted to suggest the government put an end to allegiance with a group that accredits a slew for-profit colleges and schools that were once owned by the currently out of commission, Corinthian Colleges Inc.

No doubt, the decision on whether to invalidate federal recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools is a crucial one as this would result in splitting from the United States' largest accreditor of for-profit schools.

If the department opts to go along with the recommendation, several schools accredited by the council will have to start looking for an accreditor in just 18 months; failure to do so would result in losing their ability to be a participant in federal financial aid programs including Pell Grants and student loans, CantonRep reported.

The council looks after almost 250 colleges and schools, and over 600 additional campuses in 47 states, encompassing about 800,000 students. In 2015, its schools acquired a whopping $4.7 billion in federal aid for students.

The counsel has reportedly been accused of sloppy supervision of its schools. In a 10-hour meeting, the head of the council acknowledged blunders.

According to Anthony Bieda, the council takes the department's apprehensions very seriously. He emphasized on the council's ability to address their concerns.

Bieda also noted that the council has introduced an array of changes including new leadership, active monitoring of its schools, and a committee that will keep an eye on standards and practices.

Apparently, that wasn't good enough for the independent advisory panel, which voted 10-3 against pursuing the council's recognition, US News reported.

One of the panel members, Kathleen Sullivan Alioto accepted that the decision will affect lives of many, however she hoped the vote will set an example for other accreditors that do not take their responsibilities seriously.

The final verdict from senior official at the department is anticipated to arrive in a span of few months.

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