Senate unanimously supports Vitelli bill to increase accountability of for-profit colleges

Posted: May 08, 2019 | Senator Vitelli

A bill introduced by Sen. Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, to ensure that for-profit colleges operating in Maine meet basic education standards was unanimously supported in an initial vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

“Today’s vote shows that it is just common sense for students to be able to know that the institution they’re attending, regardless of its structure, is worth their time and money,” said Sen. Vitelli. “Students at other types of institutions have access to this data for their schools, and students for whom for-profit schools are the right fit deserve the same levels of transparency and accountability.”

The bill — LD 103 “An Act To Ensure the Integrity of For-profit Colleges and Universities” — would, as amended, require an annual review of for-profit colleges by the Commissioner of Education to ensure that they are meeting adequate educational standards. If the Commissioner finds that a for-profit college is not meeting the standards, the degree-granting authority of that college may be terminated. For-profit colleges, like their public and non-profit counterparts, will have to report to the Commissioner on a variety of metrics including how much money is spent on instruction, graduation rates, loan status of graduates, employment status of graduates, and the design and implementation of student support services.

The data made public by these reporting requirements will help students be better informed as they assess which institute of higher education is worth their investment.

LD 103 will now go to the House for additional votes before returning to the Senate for enactment.