You may have heard that on December 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education withdrew recognition for the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as a national accrediting agency and may be wondering how that affects you, your program, your financial aid and Empire College.
ACICS has taken legal action in federal court, the outcome of which is pending and may take several months to resolve. Until the case is resolved, ACICS is not a recognized accreditor by the Department of Education.
In the meantime, because we are an institution in good standing, the Department of Education offered Empire College the ability to continue to participate in the federal student aid programs so long as the College takes timely action to pursue new accreditation.
We have until June 12, 2018 (18 months) to find a new accreditor and have been exploring options. Although we cannot guarantee we will be accepted by a new accrediting agency, we are working hard to achieve new accreditation by a recognized accreditor by the June 2018 deadline.
Again, our students can continue to utilize financial aid through at least June 12, 2018. The Department of Education has provided an explanation of accreditation and what changes in accreditation mean to students, which you can read here (https://www.ed.gov/acics).
Empire College students who have questions or complaints relating to Title IV eligibility or administration, the quality of education received at the institution, or otherwise relating to the accreditation standards of ACICS can submit that complaint to Empire College and/or to any of the following:
Office of Inspector General
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-1500
Phone: (800) 647-8733
Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
California Department of Consumers Affairs
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (888) 370-7589
California Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Phone: (800) 952-5225