FILE - In this June 5, 2018, file photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies during hearing on the FY19 budget on Capitol Hill in Washington. A little-known venture capitalist is on the verge of acquiring one of the country’s biggest for-profit colleges, a transaction that would put him in control of a troubled national chain vastly larger than the tiny California school he currently owns.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

For DeVos' critics, sale of the DeVry chain raises red flags

October 01, 2018 - 8:01 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A little-known venture capitalist is on the verge of acquiring one of the largest for-profit colleges in the country.

The deal, once complete, would put him in control of a national chain that's beset by thousands of student complaints and is vastly larger than the tiny California college he currently owns.

The business-friendly Trump administration has given a tentative green light to the sale of DeVry University to Cogswell Education LLC. The holding company is run by Bradley Palmer, chairman of Palm Ventures in Connecticut.

Critics say the deal raises red flags. Chief among them is the challenge of taking over such a large institution. DeVry has roughly 46,000 students.

A Cogswell spokeswoman disputes the criticism. She says DeVry would be operated by its own independent board of trustees.