Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan Aims to Strip DeVos’ Protections of For-Profit, Predatory Online Out-Of-State Colleges

For immediate release:

AB 1344, which enhances State oversight and establishes protections against online college scandals and issues of accreditation, heads to Governor Newsom

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s (D-Orinda) AB 1344 passed off the Assembly floor and is now heading to Governor Gavin Newsom. AB 1344 protects the nearly 100,000 California students who are enrolled in online colleges by increasing State oversight of out-of-state, online, for-profit institutions. This bill would require that out-of-state institutions follow the same existing student protection requirements as in-state online colleges overseen by the Bureau of Postsecondary Private Education (BPPE).

“Secretary DeVos has taken active steps to roll back protections for students and instead protect the profits of corrupt online colleges. With this bill, California is stepping up to protect students caught in the bullseye of these harmful policies and is holding the bad actor colleges accountable for misleading and bankrupting our students.” said Bauer-Kahan.

Online for-profit institutions that are based out-of-state have had a history of accreditation issues, misleading students and taking their money and running. Student borrowers default on their student loans at a much higher rate after enrolling at these deceptive and predatory out-of-state colleges than those students who enroll in-state institutions which must operate under significantly higher standards that California already has in place. Additionally, there has been a disturbing pattern from online for-profit colleges of promising students employment and counseling benefits after completing their degree programs – only to leave students in debt and without resources or recourse to hold these colleges accountable for their empty promises.

AB 1344 would apply existing regulations to the online, for-profit institutions, and establish a complaint-based process that allows BPPE to deny these colleges the registration process needed to be eligible to enroll California students. Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s bill is supported by The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) and the Veterans Legal Clinic.

“With increasing numbers of students enrolling online, this bill would take important steps to better protect Californians enrolled in colleges out-of-state,” said Angela Perry, Policy Analyst for The Institute for College Access & Success.

AB 1344 has received bi-partisan support in both the Assembly and the Senate.