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Rep. Porter Introduces Bill to Increase Oversight of Fraudulent For-Profit Universities

Congresswoman’s legislative push comes after predatory institution cheated Orange County students earlier this year

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) has introduced legislation that would crack down on predatory for-profit universities. Porter’s bill empowers federal watchdogs to investigate fraudulent schools that cheat students when those institutions face financial downturns, as Western State College of Law did earlier this year.

“It’s unacceptable that scam artists have free license to take advantage of our students to make quick bucks,” said Congresswoman Porter, a tenured law professor at UC Irvine. “We’ve seen firsthand in Orange County what happens when predatory institutions are allowed to run amok with no accountability—my bill would take concrete steps to prevent our students from being defrauded again.”

Under current law, schools can evade oversight by entering into receivership status rather than declaring bankruptcy. Porter’s bill would close this loophole and empower the Department of Education to scrutinize institutions under receivership and evaluate their standing to receive federal financial aid. The legislation would also increase protections to ensure that these schools aren’t able to continue cheating students.

Congresswoman Porter has prioritized increasing access to higher education and conducting proper oversight of for-profit universities. Over the summer, she led an effort to prevent California students from losing federal financial aid. She also joined colleagues in introducing a bill to make permanent a student loan forgiveness program for borrowers who were defrauded or misled by their schools. Porter authored a bill in May to protect student borrowers and increase transparency and accountability within the student loan servicing industry. She also called out Argosy University after reports that students hadn’t received financial aid funds.