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Bill Would Move For-Profit Colleges Under Consumer Bureau

This article is more than 8 years old.

Massachusetts lawmakers are considering big changes to the way the state regulates for-profit colleges.

One bill would put all the nearly 400 licensed for-profit colleges that operate in the state under the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, because, the argument goes, the colleges are more like businesses than educational institutions.

Family advocate Najeema Holas-Huggins says this would help regulate them more closely.

"For-profit schools have the highest rate of student loan defaults," Holas-Huggins said. "There are enough complaints against these schools to fill a phone book. Ultimately they are handing out empty promises to those who need the most help."

The lobbying group representing private career schools says they should be overseen by the Department of Higher Education, not the consumer protection bureau.

"We think moving to an agency that is for consumer protection is for business — we are schools, honestly we believe that we should be part of higher education just like our counterparts in all of the other New England states," said Cathy Flaherty, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Private Career Schools.

For-profit career schools are currently overseen by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

This program aired on June 8, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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