KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The national accrediting agency that gave the now-closed ITT Tech a stamp of approval has been stripped of its authority.
The Department of Education revoked the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) recognition on Thursday, which could effectively jeopardize the ability of schools to access federal funding.
ACICS accredits hundreds of schools across the county, which enrolls 600,000 students. Many of its colleges, like ITT Tech, are for-profit schools.
Students at schools that lose accreditation are not eligible for federal financial aid. It also makes it difficult for students to transfer credits to another university.
Why pull the plug?
According to the Department of Education, the agency was out of compliance with regulations in 21 areas.
They found many ACICS schools had among the lowest graduation rates, and among the highest rates of student loan defaults.
In a statement posted to the agency’s website, officials pledged to appeal the decision. By doing so, the agency keeps its accreditation until the process is over.
ACICS has 30 days to appeal. The agency’s interim president pledged to get this “resolved quickly.”
ITT Tech was accredited by ACICS when it abruptly shut down earlier this month. The school blamed the federal government for not allowing students to use federal loans to pay for school, which the school said was a “critical source of revenue.”
ACICS had put the school on warning for being out of compliance on retention rates, but ITT Tech never lost its accreditation.