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For-profit schools face new scrutiny

Associated Press / June 22, 2011

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For-profit occupational schools in Massachusetts could soon face greater state scrutiny.

The schools offer nondegree programs in various fields such as culinary arts, photography, and automotive repair. Last year, 42 of the 209 for-profit schools in the state earned over $1 million in tuition revenues.

Critics have accused for-profit schools nationwide of using misleading recruiting practices and encouraging students to take on student loans they can’t afford.

The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Higher Education has recommended transferring oversight of the schools from the Education Department to the agency that handles professional licensing. Lawmakers say the change would strengthen and clarify current regulations, and establish an office dedicated to investigating complaints.