Inside Higher Ed

Education Department Will Tap Secret Shoppers

March 15, 2023

The Education Department is planning to use undercover agents—known as “secret shoppers”—to monitor colleges and universities that receive federal financial aid for potentially deceptive practices. The move, announced Tuesday, is the latest step in the Biden administration’s efforts to hold low-performing and predatory colleges accountable. Other efforts include revamping regulations for debt-relief programs, including borrower defense to repayment; re-establishing an enforcement office within the Office of Federal Student Aid; and issuing guidance on how the department will require private nonprofit and for-profit college executives to assume personal liability.

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