Last summer, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida asked the U.S. Department of Education to "demonstrate leniency" toward Corinthian Colleges by permitting the wealthy for-profit company to continue accessing millions of dollars in federal financial aid while it was cooperating with a federal investigation. [...] The top-tier Republican presidential candidate had made his plea in a letter -- obtained by Bloomberg Politics -- dated June 20, 2014 and addressed to Jim Shelton, the deputy secretary of education, and Ted Mitchell, the undersecretary for post-secondary education.
Rubio is a noted supporter of "alternative" forms of higher education, describing them in various speeches and statements as a way to help middle class Americans deal with rising tuition costs in an era where college degrees are increasingly vital to success. In 2014, he introduced legislation to encourage federal agencies to hire people with "alternative educational experience." As recently as two days ago, Rubio tweeted about his education proposals. Ironically, his message mirrored that of Corinthian's critics.Two weeks ago, the Floridian pressed his message to students at Manchester Community College in New Hampshire. "We have only one way of providing higher education in America, and that is, we tell everybody, 'You either go to a traditional college or you go nowhere,'" he said, according to the New York Times. "That isn't working."