Magazine article USA TODAY

Tougher Oversight of Schools Needed

Magazine article USA TODAY

Tougher Oversight of Schools Needed

Article excerpt

Under new rules issued by the U.S. Department of Education, states must provide more rigorous, coordinated monitoring of trade schools, colleges, and universities. Greater accountability and monitoring also will be expected of the agencies that accredit these institutions.

"These regulations are a significant step in providing greater consumer protection for students pursuing postsecondary education and in safeguarding the integrity of student aid programs," indicates U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. "They are tough, but fair, and allow considerable flexibility in setting standards and policies."

In implementing the provisions governing student aid programs of the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1992, which Congress toughened in response to reports of fraud and abuse, the new guidelines establish a State Postsecondary Review Program and revise existing regulations regarding the agencies that accredit schools participating in student aid programs. The states must:

* Designate a State Postsecondary Review Entity (SPRE) that will review schools based on certain statutory criteria, such as high student loan default rates or dramatic fluctuations in grant or loan volume. …

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