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13 Attorneys General Support Bill to Bar Spending of Student Aid on Marketing

A group of 13 state attorneys general on Friday voiced their support for legislation in Congress that would prohibit colleges from using federal aid dollars for marketing and recruitment, calling the bill a “vital first step” toward curbing what they said were deceptive practices by for-profit colleges.

The bill, the Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act, was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate this week by Kay Hagan, Democrat of North Carolina, and Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa and chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

In a letter to lawmakers serving on key committees in the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, the attorneys generals wrote that the bill would “ensure that scarce federal education dollars will be used to serve and educate students rather than to finance advertising campaigns, recruitment operations, and aggressive marketing.”

One attorney general, Jack Conway of Kentucky, has filed a series of lawsuits accusing for-profit colleges of misleading students. An online marketer that recruited veterans on behalf of for-profit colleges agreed to pay $2.5-million and shut down one of its Web sites in a settlement stemming from an investigation led by Mr. Conway’s office.

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