Independence University is closing and an ‘unusual arrangement’ has caught feds’ attention

A Utah college with online degrees closed abruptly over the weekend, disrupting the lives of thousands of students. But it’s the university’s efforts to push students to new colleges that has the federal government asking questions.

Stranger still, as of Monday afternoon, there was nothing on Independence University’s website to indicate the private college had closed Sunday, nor on the website of its owner, The Center for Excellence in Higher Education. Instead, students are relying on their peers, emails from the college administration, and the U.S. Department of Education to guide them.

Independence University’s situation highlights how a troubled institution can stay in business, with students unaware, and then leave them in the lurch when it finally closes. The case also shows an Education Department more willing to exercise its regulatory oversight under President Joe Biden’s administration.

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