The U.S. Department of Education is taking steps to shut down the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, the country’s largest accreditor of for-profit colleges.
This is the most aggressive action the Department could take against the organization, which came under fire for accrediting campuses owned by the for-profit giant Corinthian Colleges.
Corinthian collapsed in 2014, after the federal government found it used aggressive sales tactics and lied about its graduation rates.
The Department says the accrediting council failed to meet federal standards and failed to hold troubled for-profit colleges like Corinthian accountable.
Billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake. Just last year campuses approved by the organization received more than $4 billion in federal student loans and grants.
Next week, a federal panel will hold hearings on accreditation before making recommendations. The Department will then issue a final decision later this summer.