The Trump administration on Thursday is seeking to obtain legal remedies for a string of colleges that have failed to provide adequate scrutiny of applications and accepted students, according to a new report.
The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) said it is seeking a “permanent injunction” that would prohibit universities from requiring applicants to submit a photo ID, and that students would be able to apply to any school in the United States without having to submit the same information, a move that could affect about 1 million students and nearly 200,000 other applicants.OCR’s complaint filed in court on Tuesday says the schools violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause by failing to conduct due diligence when it came to assessing applicants’ eligibility for federal financial aid.
The complaint says the colleges also failed to comply with federal student aid rules requiring that applicants submit transcripts, transcripts of classes, and the work experience they have had.
The Trump administration says the states must “take the necessary steps to ensure that applicants are fully vetted, that their eligibility for Federal financial aid is not impacted by any of their non-compliance, and to ensure the integrity of their financial aid processes.”
The complaint also says colleges that fail to comply will be “subject to potential criminal sanctions.”
The OCR’s filing comes after President Donald Trump and several other administration officials have criticized the colleges that took steps to deny students a shot at attending the nation’s elite schools.
In January, Trump tweeted that “students with lower scores on SATs, ACT, and GPAs, will be allowed to get in the [college of] their choice if they are smart, hardworking, and are willing to work hard.”
In August, Trump said at a rally that he would make “a big deal” of colleges “that don’t do the right thing and that they’re taking advantage of these children.”
The Trump White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the OCR complaint.