Education Dept. Faces Renewed Criticism Over Colleges' Financial-Health Scores

Education Dept. Faces Renewed Criticism Over Financial-Health Scores 1

Courtney Perry for The Chronicle

Bethel U. has tried to contest its failing score for the 2012 fiscal year, but the Education Department gave a "garbledly-gook response," says Kathleen J. Nelson, a top financial official at the Minnesota university.

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close Education Dept. Faces Renewed Criticism Over Financial-Health Scores 1

Courtney Perry for The Chronicle

Bethel U. has tried to contest its failing score for the 2012 fiscal year, but the Education Department gave a "garbledly-gook response," says Kathleen J. Nelson, a top financial official at the Minnesota university.

Many private colleges, which contend the U.S. Department of Education continues to erroneously and inconsistently calculate a key measure of institutions' financial health, now say the department has been so "dismissive" of their two-year effort to work collaboratively to repair the process that they have no choice but to ask Congress to enact changes that the department won't.

"It has to be fixed," said Sarah A. Flanagan, vice president for government relations and policy at the