Dems want to tighten limits on federal aid to for-profit colleges

A number of Senate Democrats want to require for-profit colleges to get a greater percent of their revenue from non-taxpayer dollars.

Democratic Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDNC punts on measure to reduce role of corporate PAC money Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 Newsom endorses Kamala Harris for president MORE (Mass.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinTrump praises law enforcement response to shooting at Illinois business Five dead in shooting at manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois ‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire MORE (Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedPapering over climate change impacts is indefensible Why Democrats are pushing for a new nuclear policy GOP chairman: US military may have to intervene in Venezuela if Russia does MORE (R.I.) are backing legislation that would require for-profit colleges to get 15 percent of their revenue from non-federal sources. 

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Currently for-profit institutions can get 90 percent of their revenue from taxpayer dollars and 10 percent from non-payer sources, in what is known as the 90-10 rule.

Durbin said that the ratio "allows far too much federal money to funnel to an industry that often provides a greater return on taxpayer investment to its administrators and investors than it does to its students."

The legislation would also require that federal aid for veterans and military benefits—including the G.I. bill and tuition assistance from the Pentagon—is classified as federal aid under the 90-10 rule.

Currently for-profit institutions can count that aid as non-taxpayer dollars, which Warren argued allows veterans and troops to be "targeted" by "predatory for-profit colleges."

“The POST Act will tighten the rules and help protect veterans by closing the loophole that permits for-profit schools to prey on our service members," she added. 

The legislation would also increase penalties for institutions, including that for-profit colleges would lose access to federal student aid programs after not complying with the new 85-15 rule for a year. 

Durbin has repeatedly criticized for-profit colleges from the Senate floor this year, suggesting that they are targeting veterans and service members. That criticism intensified after Corinthian Colleges shuttered this year after an almost $30 million fine from the Department of Education over accusations that it misled students on job prospects. 

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainPence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech Mark Kelly's campaign raises over M in days after launching Senate bid The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers wait for Trump's next move on border deal MORE (R-Ariz.), however, shot back at Durbin during a fiery floor speech last month, saying that the Illinois Democrat has a "well-known record" of not supporting troops and a "vendetta against for-profit universities."