Image: The Department of Education is officially terminating federal recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools after Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten issued a final decision Friday.

The department will provisionally certify the 27 for-profit colleges currently accredited by ACICS to continue to receive federal funding. However, the colleges must find another accreditor within 18 months, or their funding will be revoked. These colleges will also be prohibited from enrolling new students until they find a new accreditor unless a student can finish their program within the 18-month period.

“The deputy secretary’s decision is not grounded in ACICS’s history or reputation but rather its continued long-standing inability to come into compliance with the minimum standards expected of accreditation agencies over the course of years,” said Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal. The department said this is the final decision it will issue regarding ACICS.

The accrediting agency can challenge the

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