For-Profit colleges evade stricter rules by courting powerful allies in Washington

Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s top regulatory czar, said a parade of for-profit college lobbyists and executives who marched through his office last spring had nothing to do with the administration’s eventual weakening of regulations on the industry, the Huffington Post reports. “The haranguing had zero effect,” Sunstein told The New York Times, referring to the year-long lobbying blitz by the for-profit college industry, which fought a relentless campaign to stave off consumer protection regulations and maintain access to billions of dollars in federal subsidies. But it’s difficult to swallow Sunstein’s message, given the all-star cast of lobbyists and advisers hired to pressure the administration to weaken the rules. Among those brought to bear in the fight this spring were Anita Dunn, a former White House communications director for Obama who helped craft messaging for Kaplan University, a subsidiary of the Washington Post Co., and Jamie Rubin, a major fundraising organizer for Obama’s re-election campaign, who met with the administration about ATI, a Dallas-based college corporation…

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