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Higher Education Fraud

Seventeen different colleges and corporate entities approved by the accrediting group to receive federal financial aid have been under government investigation over the last five years. ...
The list includes Miami-based FastTrain College, which hired exotic dancers to entice young male students, until its president was sentenced to eight years in prison for illegally enrolling high school dropouts and using the profits from their federal student aid money to buy a private plane and a 54-foot yacht.
As Buzzfeed recently reported, the “nonprofit” Northwestern Polytechnic University in Silicon Valley used its accreditation to essentially sell student visas to foreign students, guaranteeing them good grades regardless of their work. The family running the college then used college funds to buy and live in multimillion dollar homes. ...
The national advisory committee’s job is to accredit accreditors. It decides which accrediting organizations can, in turn, make colleges eligible to grant visas and receive federal aid. Over the years, the committee has been loath to kick anyone out, relying instead on a system of stern warnings and requests for additional paperwork when things go wrong. In this way, it has mirrored the philosophy of accreditors themselves, which rarely find that one of their dues-paying members should be banned from the club.

And it was clubby. A ProPublica investigation last year found that at least two-thirds of the accrediting group’s commissioners worked as executives at for-profit colleges.

No accreditor has ever come before the committee with as many problems as the ACICS group. If the group is allowed to continue operating, it’s hard to imagine what would be bad enough to prompt loss of federal recognition.
- Kevin Carey, For-Profit-College Fiasco: Why a Watchdog Needs a Watchdog, NYT, June 21, 2016



Law Schools engage in similar exploitation of students with unrealistic expectations of employment opportunities, who are persuaded to pay law school tuition by borrowing via the federal student loan program:

As of this April, fewer than 70 percent of Valparaiso law school graduates from the previous spring were employed and fewer than half were in jobs that required a law license. Only three out of 131 graduates worked in large firms, which tend to pay more generous salaries.

“People are not being helped by going to these schools,” Kyle McEntee, executive director of the advocacy group Law School Transparency, said of Valparaiso and other low-tier law schools. “The debt is really high, bar passage rates are horrendous, employment is horrendous.”

Even as employment prospects have dimmed, however, law school student debt has ballooned, rising from about $95,000 among borrowers at the average school in 2010 to about $112,000 in 2014, according to Mr. McEntee’s group.

Such is the atavistic rage among those who went to law school seeking the upper-middle-class status and security often enjoyed by earlier generations, only to find themselves on a financial treadmill and convinced their schools misled them, that there is now a whole genre of online writing devoted specifically to channeling it: “scamblogging.”
- Noam Scheiber, An Expensive Law Degree, and No Place to Use It, NYT, June 17, 2016



A Report from Romania:

I have been put under pressure to promote students who never attended class. I have been offered bribes for this and I have been sanctioned because of my integrity. I was forced to leave the country many times because of the awful corruption and because my monthly wages were insufficient for survival. My colleagues took huge amounts of money from selling graduation papers and grades, also taking homemade products from the “candidates,” like cheese, alcoholic beverages, even eggs!— Monica Vlad, 49, a university professor in Sibiu.
- PALKO KARASZ, In Romania, Corruption’s Tentacles Grip Daily Life, NYT, FEB. 9, 2017


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