Ashford University Owner in Trouble
The former owner of Ashford University in Clinton is in trouble. Monday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it will take action against the for-profit company, Bridgepoint Education, for illegal student lending practices.
The bureau has ordered Bridgepoint which is based in California, to refund all outstanding private student loans, now totaling more than 23 million dollars, and refund students’ payments on private loans borrowed from the school. Additionally, Bridgepoint must pay an $8 million penalty for deceiving students and will be required to inform incoming students, and current students beginning new programs of study, of their eligibility for federal financial aid though a new financial aid disclosure tool.
Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin says Bridgepoint is "just one more example of the predatory practices for which for-profit colleges are now infamous. Whether it’s Corinthian, ITT Tech, or Bridgepoint, this industry’s record of exploiting students is now catching up with it."
And he wonders when will Congress oversee and regulate for-profit colleges to protect students and taxpayers.”
Bridgepoint is under investigation by four state Attorneys General, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Justice.
The company closed its campus in Clinton last spring, but continues to offer online college classes.