(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement today regarding the closure of Marinello Schools of Beauty. The school has campuses in East Hartford, Fairfield, Hamden, Meriden, Niantic and Willimantic. A Torrington campus closed last month.
“Marinello promised their students education and training that would lead to career success, and those students should not be made to pay the price for the school’s reprehensible fraud and abuse. Students must now be made whole, with loans forgiven and feasible pathways to complete their programs elsewhere. The U.S. Department of Education acted appropriately to protect students from Marinello’s egregious actions, and the Department is now ready and willing to provide loan forgiveness to Marinello students. I urge all impacted students to reach out to the Connecticut Office of Higher Education which is working to secure credit transfer opportunities, or to apply for loan forgiveness through the U.S. Department of Education if they do not wish to continue their programs of study. I call on the U.S. Department of Justice now to prosecute any violations of criminal law as vigorously and promptly as possible,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal has been an aggressive advocate for students and for greater accountability at for-profit colleges. Last October, Blumenthal led a letter demanding the U.S. Department of Education (ED) immediately take action to stop millions in federal funds from being provided to potentially fraudulent for-profit institutions, as uncovered by a report in The New York Times. In writing to ED Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, the senators implored ED to appropriately limit fraudulent institutions' access to Title IV student aid funding, specifically by working with state and federal authorities currently investigating for-profit schools to determine appropriate spending restrictions.
Last month, Blumenthal also joined a letter to the Department of Education raising concerns about the federal government’s recent settlement with Education Management Corporation (EDMC) over illegal recruiting tactics. In the letter, Blumenthal questioned the settlement’s lack of accountability for company executives and inadequate relief for students.
Additionally, last November, Blumenthal joined Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) to introduce legislation that would help put an end to the for-profit industry’s predatory marketing campaigns and aggressive recruiting of veterans, servicemembers and their families. The Protecting Our Students and Taxpayers (POST) Act would prohibit for-profit colleges and universities from receiving more than 85% of their revenue from the federal government and change the calculation of federal revenue to include all federal funds.