Mark Baum’s discovery of ratings agency fraud – a small but important part of the comprehensive fraud that was America’s mortgage business fourteen years ago – is one of many great scenes from the film The Big Short. But the dirty for-profit ed business (this blog has spent years covering it – click on the categories at the bottom of this post) goes ratings fraud one step further: It issues glowing accreditations/ratings for entities that don’t even exist.
Group that approved South Dakota
College without students rebuked,
May lose access to federal money
goes the headline; and it’s like that old saying: A School Without Students is Like a Day Without Federal Money… Except that with the love and support of the Trump presidency, this agency is still in business.
I mean, the Biden Ed Dept seems to have voted to shut it down, but there are appeals aplenty available to the accreditor, and meanwhile its bright golden approval insignia continues to emblazon the web pages of sixty other fly by nights.
In its defense, this outfit protested that just because Reagan National University lacked not only students but instructional materials, the place (a closed office in a strip mall) was highly approvable because any school can lack the administrative staff to show a visitor a textbook or a student.
Interestingly, there are also some non-profit universities whose student populations are dwindling to nothing. Chicago State University, a perennial object of fascination on this blog, “has lost nearly 60 percent of its enrollment since 2010, plummeting from 7,354 students to 2,964.” Assuming its basic approach of staggering financial scandal, constant leadership turnover, and a quality of instruction you’d expect from a school where no one in her right mind would teach, remains stable, CSU can expect to be pretty much where Reagan National is in a few years.