Biden’s Education Secretary vows to shut down the largest Christian university in the US

rear Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has vowed to close Grand Canyon University (GCU), the largest Christian university in the United States, but GCU officials have pushed back, blaming the crackdown on “deep-rooted prejudice.” He told FOX News Digital.

Cardona made the comments at a press conference. House Appropriations Committee On April 10th, we heard about the crackdown on GCU and similar universities.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) asked Cardona how the administration is working to close GCU, which she called a “predatory for-profit school.”

Cardona openly accepted their enforcement methods, declaring, “We’re cracking down not just to shut them down, but to send a message that they won’t prey on students.”

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Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., asked Cardona how the government is working to shut down “GCU, a predatory for-profit school.” (House Appropriations Committee)

“Predatory for-profit universities”

“Last year, your department filed a lawsuit against Grand Canyon University, a predatory for-profit university, alleging that the school did not accurately disclose costs to students, and that the university removed continuing courses from students before graduation. “We’ve driven up the actual costs for the students who are asking us to pay, but the fraudulent courses will increase the cost of education for these kids by about $10,000 or more,” DeLauro said.

“We’re going after predatory schools that prey on first-generation students. They have flashy marketing materials, but their products aren’t worth the paper it’s printed on. We’re going after these people. and increased enforcement budgets to crack down on schools, levied the largest fines ever for schools, lied about costs, and removed schools from Title IV. We are cracking down not only to close schools, but to send a message that we will not prey on students,” Cardona responded.

GCU has appealed a $37.7 million fine imposed by the department in November on charges that the Arizona-based higher education institution misled students about the cost of its doctoral programs over several years.

Miguel Cardona U.S. Secretary of Education

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona vows to crack down on America’s largest Christian universities (House Appropriations Committee)

This fine is in line with previous fines imposed by the Department of Education on schools such as Penn State University ($2.4 million) and Michigan State University ($4.5 million) for failing to address the crimes of Jerry Sandusky and Larry Nassar. It is much more expensive than.

Department store Said In October, a press release announced that an investigation conducted by the Federal Student Aid Agency (FSA) found that GCU “lied” to more than 7,500 former and current students about the cost of its doctoral programs. The release also said GCU was “falsely advertising” the low costs of its doctoral programs, adding that approximately 98% of students ended up paying more than the advertised cost.

The university was given 20 days to request a hearing with the ED’s Hearings and Appeals Department or respond to the FSA why the fine should not be imposed. The Department also imposed certain conditions on schools for continued participation in federal student aid programs.

A GCU spokesperson told FOX News Digital that the hearing is not expected to be held until January.

“Our next step after this decision will be to appeal again within the department, this time directly to the Secretary of Education,” the GCU official said.

grand canyon university

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has vowed to close Grand Canyon University.

“Holding higher education accountable”

“This is not just a few rotten apples in a bunch,” DeLauro said at an April 10 hearing. He has engaged in various deceptions aimed at increasing his income.” . “How are you and your agency working to increase oversight of these institutions? And are there any ways these people can be shut down?”

Cardona said the agency has employed “multiple strategies” to crack down on for-profit colleges, including “defending borrowers, forgiving debt, holding universities accountable, and increasing the accountability of higher education institutions.”

Regarding the defense of borrowers, Cardona added that for-profit colleges are “precipitating first-generation students.”

“You have a shiny brochure and a great commercial. But the product is not worth as much as the paper it’s written on. You graduate with $60,000 to $70,000 in debt. I have a student who is only eligible for jobs that earn less than $30,000. This is unacceptable to me.

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“Strengthening enforcement”

In response to Cardona’s comments about the closure of universities like GCU, a GCU spokesperson told FOX News Digital, “Officials are legally and factually inaccurate and believe that 26 other regulations and “They continue to make derogatory and inflammatory public statements that have not been shared by any of the accrediting bodies.” Please supervise GCU. ”

“The Secretary’s comments to the House Appropriations Committee were so reckless that they do not reflect the factual record of this case, and GCU is demanding an immediate retraction. Is the Secretary confused or misinformed? , or they do not understand the actions taken by their own government agencies,” the spokesperson added.

GCU’s president previously told FOX News Digital that he felt “unfairly targeted.”

grand canyon university

The president of Grand Canyon University told FOX News Digital that the university is being targeted by the Department of Education.

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“Next could be other faith-based organizations.”

Cardona’s comments: petition The American Principles Project (APP) launched this project to “protect Christian universities.”

The petition was started “in light of the Biden administration’s unprecedented attack on our nation’s largest Christian university,” and said, “The administration must halt its campaign and allow students to choose a school that aligns with their values. I am asking you to do this.

“The federal government’s education agenda is to punish schools that don’t live up to its progressive ideology. It’s time to take a firm stand against this gross abuse of power,” said John Schweppe, APP Policy Director. said. “The campaign of scrutiny and punishment against faith-based institutions is not aimed at the benefit or well-being of students; rather, it is part of a concerted effort to take away educational choice and promote far-left values. It’s important that Americans recognize this and do everything in their power to stop this shameful campaign. ”

In response to APP’s efforts, GCU officials told FOX News Digital, “Americans are losing trust in the federal government to conduct its business fairly and objectively.”

Split image of Biden and Liberty University building

President Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images | Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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“There are clearly no checks and balances in place at the Department of Education to prevent this type of behavior,” they added. “We support any group seeking to expose the unjust and targeted actions taken by the federal government against GCU. If we can do that, then other faith-based organizations may be next.”

In addition, the Goldwater Institute ED sued In February, the company was sued in federal court for “refusing to produce public records” related to a $37.7 million fine against GCU. They argued that the records could inform the public about coordination between various federal agencies in what appears to be “deliberate targeting of a successful university based on extremely tenuous allegations.”

The Department of Education did not respond to requests for comment.