October 27, 2021

Federal judge rules Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lacks the authority to investigate for-profit-college accreditors.

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A federal judge on Thursday struck a blow to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent foray into college accreditation, ruling that the bureau lacks the authority to investigate how accreditors approve for-profit colleges.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon rejected the CFPB’sattempt to force an embattled national accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, to turn over information about how it decided to approve several controversial for-profit college chains.

“Although it is understandable that new agencies like the CFPB will struggle to establish the exact parameters of their authority, they must be especially prudent before choosing to plow headlong into fields not clearly ceded to them by Congress,” wrote Leon, who was nominated by President George W. Bush. “Thus, having concluded that the CFPB lacks authority to investigate the process for accrediting for-profit schools, I am compelled to deny its petition to enforce civil investigative demand.”

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