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Accreditation for For-profit Colleges, Reviewed

September 07,2010 by: admin

Senator Tom Harkin announced last Wednesday, August 4, 2010 on a hearing that he is planning to scrutinize the accreditation process of for-profit colleges. A report has been featured by the Government Accountability Office exposed that there had been some frauds or deceptions at the fifteen for -profit colleges they have examined as a part of the scrutiny found. Few of the said colleges are two Kaplan Colleges, Corinthian Colleges and a couple of University of Phoenix campuses.

With some colleges, it had been found out that prospect enrollees were encouraged to enlist fraudulent dependents and or not to declare any savings. As for the other colleges, admission officers decline to let the enrollees see a financial aid officer until they agree to enroll with them.

To quote National Association for College Admission Counseling’s David Hawkins:

“Contrary to what we’ve heard from the industry, these practices seem to be standard. They do not appear to be isolated acts of bad actors.”

A Democrat of Iowa, Senator Harkin requested documents from thirty colleges also questioned the reputation of the schools. According to him, fraud is not just having some bad apples in the basket but referred to the entire ‘business’. With their desire to increase their profit, they opt for unethical way of recruiting students.

Just last year, for profit colleges received federal grants amounting to four billion dollars and twenty million dollars worth of loan from the Department of Education.
Last year, for-profit colleges received $4 billion in federal grants and $20 billion in Department of Education loans.

The senator also questioned Michale McComis about the reliability of the investigations conducted by his office, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. McComis investigating body found very minimal school violations over the last couple of years with the six hundred visits they conducted while the Government Accountability Office found several issues with a single visit. This of course is something that could heat up any forms of suspicions.

Before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, a former for-profit college admissions representative described how students are pressured to enroll and attend a two-week class before they could keep their financial aid. In line with the scrutiny of the Government Accountability Office, Apollo Group, a body that takes good care of the operations of the University of Phoenix and the Career College Association, a representative of for-profit colleges affirmed that they will comply with the law.

It has saddened a lot of people knowing that most educational institutions now are just all for the profit and not really for its real sense of a purpose but also a lot is pleased with the action of scrutinizing accreditation of this for-profit colleges with high hopes that proper process be done and proper actions be taken for all violations found.


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