12-13: U.S. Department of Education (ED) Ceases to Recognize Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)

Posted Date: December 13, 2016

Author:  Lynn B. Mahaffie, Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education

Subject: U.S. Department of Education (ED) Ceases to Recognize Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)

On June 15, 2016, accreditation staff at the ED released a report recommending ACICS no longer be recognized as an agency that can provide schools with a seal of approval for educational quality which, in turn, makes schools eligible to participate in federal student aid programs.

On June 23, 2016, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Improvement (NACIQI), also voted to recommend that ED cease to recognize ACICS. On September 22, 2016, the Senior Department Official (SDO) upheld the NACIQI and ED staff recommendations and decided that ED will no longer recognize ACICS.

On October 21, 2016, ACICS appealed the SDO’s decision. The appeal was forwarded to the Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., for decision.

On December 12, 2016, the Secretary upheld the SDO decision and the recommendations of NACIQI and ED staff to cease recognition of ACICS. His decision is considered final and officially starts an 18-month timeframe for institutions to find another accreditor in order to continue participating in federal student aid programs.

Attached to this Electronic Announcement are

  1. A memo from Under Secretary Ted Mitchell to states and accreditors regarding the decision, and
  2. A letter from me to institutions accredited by ACICS.

Additional information about this decision, including a Q&A for students attending schools accredited by ACICS, is available at ed.gov/acics.

Attachments/Enclosures:

Memo from Under Secretary Ted Mitchell in Word Format, 37KB, 3 Pages

Letter from Lynn Mahaffie to Institutions Accredited by ACICS in PDF Format, 43KB, 2 Pages

 

Publication Date: 12/13/2016


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