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Hundreds of Colleges, Many For-Profits, Seek a New Accreditor

Hundreds of colleges have begun seeking a new accreditor after the U.S. Department of Education last month backed a federal panel’s decision to terminate the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

The council is the largest national accrediting agency. Last year it was the gatekeeper for $4.76 billion in federal financial aid, most of it going to the for-profit institutions that make up the bulk of its members. ACICS oversees 245 institutions and 674 campus locations, which enroll roughly 600,000 students (361,054 degree-seeking undergraduates, according to federal data).