The Goodwin president must retire as part of the DOJ settlement

Mark Scheinberg is a man of many responsibilities প্রেস President of Goodwin University, Trustee of Bridgeport University, and owner of two small for-profit colleges: Stone Academy and Pierre College of Art. Now a division of the judiciary will force him out of three roles.

On May 27 of the year, under an agreement with the Public Judiciary, Scheinberg paid off student loans from the Department of Education to hide his college’s consolidated default rates.

Disaster

Between 2015 and 2019, Scheinberg made 154 payments from himself and Stone Academy through money orders from loan service providers on behalf of 102 Stone Academy students. His goal was to prevent students from falling into default, which would increase the college’s consolidated default rate – the share of defaulting federal borrowers over a period of time, according to Judiciary details.

Scheinberg paid 1 million as part of the settlement, which required him to retire from Goodwin University and the University of Bridgeport within five years.

Additionally, Scheinberg “entered into an administrative agreement with the Department of Education in which both Steinberg Stone Academy and Pierre College of Art agreed to cease their involvement and participation in the activities and to remove direct ownership.”

“The cohort default rate is an important metric that students can use to research whether a school provides valuable education, as it may show whether the degree they will acquire will help them find employment which allows them to stay current on student loans. . ” Vanessa Roberts Avery, the U.S. attorney for the district of Connecticut, said in a statement. “Educational institutions — especially private, for-profit schools চেষ্টা that try to hide the high student loan default rate from the Department of Education and their students not only run the risk of losing their and their students’ eligibility to receive federal funding, but they also risk federal enforcement by us. Office and our investigative partners. “

Stone Academy, which has three separate campuses in Connecticut, has a default rate of 15 percent, according to the Department of Education’s most recent college scorecard data. This is more than double the national average default rate of 7.3 percent in 2018.

Goodwin University did not respond Inside higher edIts requested to comment, but Scheinberg provided a statement Journal InquirerA local newspaper admitted the payment was a mistake.

The statement said that although Stone Academy’s default rate hike would have been “unreasonable”, it had resolved to “put the dispute behind it”. At age 66, there is still much to be achieved, and I have chosen to dedicate the rest of my academic career to important work that brings joy to my life – creating new opportunities that students of different talents and backgrounds can use to succeed, “said Scheinberg. Newspapers

A spokesman said Journal Inquirer That Scheinberg’s retirement is not imminent. Schবারnberg founded Goodwin in 1999 and was its sole president. Goodwin acquired the nonprofit University of Bridgeport in 2021. Although Bridgeport has a separate administration and president, Scheinberg serves as a trustee.

Response to settlement

Kevin Kinser, head of the Department of Educational Policy Studies and a professor at Pennsylvania State University and a senior scientist in education, said it was unclear how common the settlement’s retirement and investment conditions were, but recognized standards meant a board would be led by “regulatory concerns.” . ” He added that the five-year-long off-ramp seems to be for Scheinberg’s retirement.

“I’m not sure why the board would wait to end the relationship if the president’s term as a leader is incapable. I wonder if the deadline was affected by a recognition review, for example, the president needs to leave before the next recognition review, ”Kinser wrote via email.

Jonathan Glatter, a law professor and faculty director at the Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, says he has never heard of a scheme where college owners provide student loans. What is at stake is shocking.

“I haven’t heard of this particular strategy before, but I’m not surprised by the importance of the cohort default rate. The type of scheme described by prosecutors here emphasizes the importance of overseeing the federal student aid system, to protect individual borrowers, “Glatter wrote via email.

Notable critics of for-profit colleges were further directed.

“Gaming accountability metrics have been a common practice in the for-profit college sector for more than a decade,” said Mike Pierce, executive director of the Student Brewer Protection Center, via email. “Ten years ago next month, A Senate inquiry is hiHighlights how the largest for-profit schools hired shadow counselors to call alumni to avoid covert default rate metrics and pressure them to stop paying off their loans instead of falling behind. For these borrowers, interest continues to make their loans more expensive, but colleges are exempt from the consequences of default. “

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