Several Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill to reform processes around for-profit colleges and universities attempting to transition to nonprofit status.
Representative Lucy McBath’s office officially announced yesterday the introduction of the bill, the For-Profit College Conversion Accountability Act. It comes after for-profit institutions that have converted or seek to convert into nonprofit institutions came under fire from Democrats during a Tuesday meeting of the House Committee on Education and Labor. In the committee meeting, McBath, of Georgia, said the closure of the for-profit Argosy University, which had sought to convert to nonprofit status, left thousands of students in her district saddled with debt and useless degrees.
“The closure of Argosy University in 2019, after months of misleading students and an attempt to convert to nonprofit status, ripped off thousands of students and veterans, leaving them with untransferable credits, huge amounts of student debt, and degrees that aren’t worth anything,” said McBath in a press release.
The legislation would create eligibility requirements, require nonprofit conversions to be made public in advance, prevent institutions from marketing themselves as nonprofits until the U.S. Department of Education grants final approval and create an office within the Department of Education to monitor conversions and determine institutions’ nonprofit eligibility, according to McBath’s office.
The language in the bill was originally included in the College Affordability Act proposed by Democratic members of the Education and Labor Committee in 2019. Co-sponsoring the newly introduced bill are Representative Sara Jacobs of California and Representative Kathy Manning of North Carolina.