Durbin letter warns educators about predatory institutions

Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) issued a letter to Illinois educators—though applicable in all states—warning about the hazards of predatory postsecondary institutions and encouraging students to use federal resources to avoid fraud and abuse in higher ed. “Although it is important for students to pursue postsecondary education, not all postsecondary institutions offer the same quality of education, job prospects, or potential to pay down student debt,” Senator Durbin noted. “For-profit colleges frequently offer promises of well-paying jobs in a field of study, but in reality, they exploit students through poor-quality education and high prices.”

More FAFSA Information from Department of Education

The draft 2024-2025 FAFSA package is on public inspection in the Federal Register, and you may submit comments before the period closes on 5/23. FSA is preparing for the launch of the new FAFSA with a Knowledge Center Electronic Announcement, the Roadmap (containing a preview of trainings and other resources for stakeholders), and updated language on our FAFSA Simplification page.

Education Department Urges Colleges to Stop Asking About Applicants’ Criminal History

The U.S. Department of Education recently encouraged colleges to eliminate questions about applicants’ criminal history on the application for admission in connection with Second Chance Month. The Common Application eliminated their criminal history question in 2019, though some institutions maintain the question on their own application or supplement. In a blog post, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education Amy Loyd wrote, “ED calls upon institutions across the country to re-examine their admissions and student service policies and holistically determine how they can better serve and support current and formerly incarcerated students. We call on you to ban the box!” The Department issued an update of its “Beyond the Box” guidance to colleges, first published during the Obama Administration, with research and policy guidance on justice-involved students and college access.