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For-profit College Accreditor ACICS Loses Appeal

Federal education officials are standing by their decision to cut ties with the nation’s largest accreditor of for-profit colleges — a ruling that will bar hundreds of schools from providing federal financial aid and likely force some to close.

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which oversees more than 250 institutions nationwide with a combined enrollment of 600,000 students, had appealed a September Education Department decision to strip it of credentialing authority.

Both Education Department staff and a federal advisory panel overseeing educational accreditors recommended the action based on ACICS’ alleged longstanding failure to competently handle its oversight duties.