US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

HELP Committee to Hold First Hearing on Oversight of Federal Education Dollars at For-Profit Colleges

Monday, June 21, 2010Kate Cyrul / Bergen Kenny (202) 224-3254

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today announced the witnesses for the first hearing in a series intended to examine federal education spending at for-profit higher education institutions.  The series will examine a broad range of issues related to the growing role of the for-profit higher education sector, including the scope and rapid growth of the federal investment in for-profit higher education and the corresponding opportunities and risks for students and taxpayers.  The first hearing, titled “Emerging Risk? An Overview of the Federal Investment in For-Profit Education,” will be held Thursday, June 24, at 10:00 AM in room 124 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  It will also be webcast at

“More than two decades have passed since Congress last examined the for-profit education sector and in that time, we have seen an explosion in growth in for-profit colleges, and in the federal taxpayer dollars they receive,” said Harkin.  “With students, families and taxpayers investing so heavily in for-profit institutions through large loan debt and billions of dollars in federal student aid, we must ensure that student are actually getting the knowledge and skills they need to pay off the debt.

“While for-profit colleges have a responsibility to their shareholders, they also have a responsibility to provide educational value to their students, and an obligation to ensure that the federal dollars they receive are well spent, particularly now that Congress has made an historic investment in student aid.”

Witnesses will include:

Panel I

Kathleen Tighe, Inspector General, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC

Panel II

Steven Eisman, Portfolio Manager, FrontPoint Financial Services Fund, LP, New York, NY

Yasmine Issa, former Sanford Brown Institute student, Yonkers, NY

Sharon Thomas Parrott, Senior Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Compliance Officer, DeVry, Inc., Chicago, IL

Margaret Reiter, former Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Justice, San Francisco, CA

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