Student Access Student Choice Coalition Responds to Inaccurate Department of Education Default Rates

The Student Access Student Choice (SASC) Coalition today released the following statement in response to the Department of Education admitting its default rates issued in February, which garnered significant press coverage, were faulty. This comes on the heels of the Government Accountability Office admitting this summer that its previous report on career colleges and universities also contained numerous factual errors ultimately unfairly penalizing career college students’ access to post-secondary education.

"It’s troubling that the Administration appears to be making policy decisions and setting Federal rules based on inaccurate information. It appears there may be a pattern of government agencies releasing erroneous data to attack career colleges and universities and then being proven wrong after the fact," said Kathy Mizereck, executive director of Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges (FAPSC). "America’s students should not have their access to education jeopardized or denied by substandard and disproven government assessments that don’t relate to quality educational outcomes. The facts prove that student choice is essential to real gainful employment, rebuilding our economy and creating jobs."


Department Of Education Admits Mistake In Default Rates:

"After calculating the FY 2008 unofficial trial three-year CDRs in February, we discovered an issue that affected our calculation of those rates. Specifically, we inadvertently included loans on which borrowers defaulted after the September 30, 2010 end date. The additional loans were incorrectly included in the numerator of the trial CDR calculation. As a result, in some cases, a school’s trial rate was incorrectly inflated." (Press Release, "Recalculated FY 2008 Unofficial Trial Three-Year Cohort Default Rates," Department Of Education, 4/21/11)

"Revised" GAO Report From Summer 2010 Is Currently Under Investigation:

"House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is making trouble for the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan government watchdog. Issa has started his own committee’s investigation of GAO’s Forensic Audit and Special Investigations Unit after GAO revised a report issued in the summer outlining alleged fraudulent recruiting practices at for-profit career colleges. The GAO’s revisions raise concerns about the investigative unit, Issa said in a letter to GAO Chief Quality Officer Timothy Bowling. The for-profit college lobby has accused the GAO of fabricating information and misleading lawmakers in the report. GAO is undertaking its own review of the situation, including potential culpability of team members." (Fawn Johnson, "Issa Investigates GAO Investigators In Battle Over For-Profit Schools," National Journal, 1/18/11)


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