Information for ACICS Accredited Institutions
& Students of ACISC Accredited Institutions

The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), one of the nation’s largest accreditors, lost its recognition by the Department of Education (Department) pursuant to 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 602, based on the following events:

  • On or about June 14, 2016, Department staff recommended to the Senior Department Official (SDO) at the Department and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) that ACICS’s petition for renewal of recognition by the Department be denied for several reasons.
  • On June 23, 2016, NACIQI voted to recommend to the Department that re-recognition be denied. 
  • On September 22, 2016, the SDO at the Department of Education accepted the recommendation of Department staff and NACIQI to deny renewal of recognition to the Council.
  • On September 22, 2016, ACICS issued the following statement: “ACICS plans to appeal the Senior Department Official’s decision to Secretary King.  While the appeal is pending, ACICS retains its federal recognition and remains determined to fully execute its accreditation responsibilities in a professional manner.”
  • On October 21, 2016, ACICS appealed the SDO's decision to the Secretary of Education.
  • On December 12, 2016, the Secretary of Education upheld the decision of the SDO and recognition of ACICS ceased. ACICS released the following statement: "ACICS will immediately file litigation seeking injunctive and other relief through the courts."
  • On December 15, 2016, ACICS requested a temporary restraining order in order to prevent implementation of the December 12, 2016 decision by the Department of Education.
  • On December 20, 2016, ACICS's request for a temporary restraining order was denied.
  • On February 21, 2017, ACICS was denied a preliminary injunction to halt implementation of the December 12, 2016 decision by the Department of Education.

Important Links & Information

January 11, 2017 letter from the Bureau to ACICS accredited institutions

October 4, 2016 letter from the Bureau to students that are attending ACICS accredited institutions

Guidance for Schools Seeking New Accreditation

September 22, 2016 letter from the Bureau to ACICS accredited institutions

September 22, 2016 letter from Senior Department Official (SDO) to ACISC

July 27, 2016 letter from the Bureau to students that are attending ACICS accredited institutions

PowerPoint presentation from July 14, 2016 Stakeholder Meeting

July 14, 2016 Stakeholder Meeting Webcast

July 1, 2016 letter from the Bureau to ACICS accredited institutions

Office of Postsecondary Education Staff Report

What College Accreditation Changes Mean for Students

FAQ Regarding Federal Recognition for Accrediting Agencies

Accreditor Federal Recognition Process

US Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill Benefit Information

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