Monday, May 9, 2022

College Meltdown 2.2: Who’s Minding the Store?



The latest report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about wrongdoing by higher education online program managers (OPMs) felt disappointing to social justice advocates who watch the space and know the bad actors who were unnamed in the GAO document.  

US higher education has always been a racket, but its latest pursuits have gone untouched and even unmentioned.  GAO’s behavior, though, is no worse than the many other corporate enablers who are supposed to be minding government funds wasted –or worse yet—used to prey upon US working families. 

The US Department of Education has done little lately to safeguard consumers from predatory student loan servicers like Maximus and Navient, or subprime universities like Purdue University Global and University of Arizona Global, and hundreds of small players who offer marginal education leading to less than gainful employment.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has done little lately to protect veterans and their families from being ripped off by subprime schools.  At one time, VA was a leader in tracking GI Bill complaints and making them public, but transparency and accountability are far from what they were.

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has been asleep at the wheel with its distribution of DOD Tuition Assistance funds to subprime colleges.  Its complaint system is close to nonexistent. 

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have done little to rein in bad actors in higher education, leaving the work to states attorneys general.  Hate crimes on campus have also been ignored.  In other cases, elite university endowments have received little notice despite eyebrow raising profits.  Student loan asset-backed securities are also below their radar. 

During the pandemic, The Department of Treasury has failed to adequately oversee funds issued to the Federal Reserve and the Small Business Administration funneled to subprime schools. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which had done an adequate job investigating predatory lead generators and marketing and advertising false claims has been hamstrung by a recent court decision and can no longer fine higher ed wrongdoers.   Predatory companies know this and will act accordingly—as criminals do when cops are not on the beat. 

What lack of oversight have you seen with federal agencies tasked to protect higher education consumers? 

Related link: College Meltdown 2.0

Related link: Maximus, Student Loan Debt, and the Poverty Industrial Complex

Related link: 2U Virus Expands College Meltdown to Elite Universities

Related link: DOD, VA Get Low Grades for Helping Vets Make College Choices

Related link:  Charlie Kirk's Turning Point Empire Takes Advantage of Failing Federal Agencies As Right-Wing Assault on Division I College Campuses Continues

Related link: The Colbeck Scandal (South University and the Art Institutes)

Related link: When does a New York college become an international EB-5 visa scam?

Related link: One Fascism or Two?: The Reemergence of "Fascism(s)" in US Higher Education

2 comments:

  1. Glen McGhee, FHEAPMay 9, 2022 at 5:36 PM

    That's not the worst of it -- media outlets like Higher Education Dive misunderstand OPMs, even when they are reporting on them.
    Below is an exchange -- in reverse order -- that I had with 2U regarding inaccuracies in Higher Ed's reporting, which have not yet been corrected. Their editor, Rich Selzer, rselzer@industrydive.com needs to fact check stories before they are published, not after. 2U confirmed my interpretation of the facts; now the ball is in Higher Ed's court.
    ===============================================
    From: Kate Welk
    Sent: Saturday, May 7, 2022 5:44 PM
    To: Glen McGhee
    Cc: nschwartz@industrydive.com ; Hallie Busta ; media@2U.com ; gmcghee@aya.yale.edu
    Subject: Re: [media@2U.com] Higher Ed Dive reveals HEA violations by 2U

    Hello Glen:
    You are correct -- 2U does not 'provide' degree programs or award credit for degree coursework. You can read more about 2U's partnerships in our most recent annual transparency report.
    Thanks,
    Kate
    Director of Corporate Communications
    Brooklyn, NY

    On Sat, May 7, 2022 at 4:58 PM Glen McGhee wrote:
    Natalie,
    Unless I am mistaken, you are misstating information about 2U in your most recent article. Here's what you said:
    "In the last few years, the company has increasingly focused on providing short-term courses, boot camps and bachelor’s degrees ..." Rather, the partnering colleges and universities are the entities that award degrees, not 2u. 2u is not an accredited higher education institution under HEA, and it is not authorized by any State to issue "bachelor's degrees" in that state.
    Unless you can make appropriate corrections to the original article, I will be forwarding your article about an unaccredited diploma mill to Congressional Offices that initiated the recent GAO review of OPMs for a follow up investigation of 2U.
    By way of this email, I am also asking 2U to verify the information that you provided in your article that they do, in fact, "provide .... bachelor's degrees."
    Glen McGhee, Dir.
    Florida Higher Education Accountability Project

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glen, that's why the Higher Education Inquirer is in business, to tell the other sides of the story, for working-class folks and their families, as well as people in higher education who value transparency and accountability.

    ReplyDelete