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The United States Government Accountability Office or rather the [GAO] has been issuing reports about For-Profit Colleges since 2009, when the office started investigating allegations that were being brought to light against the colleges for predatory recruiting tactics. In 2010, the [GAO] released a report about their findings of fifteen different For-Profit Colleges, with the main emphasis on the fact that they did find affirmation that the colleges were using deceptive sales practices to boost their enrollment of students who would bring in Federal Aid.
Among these fifteen schools were: University of Phoenix, Argosy University (Education Management Corp), Kaplan College, Everest College (Corinthian), Westech College, Bennett Career Institute, Potomac College, MedVance Institute, College of Office Technology, Anthem Institute, Westwood College and ATI Career Training.
During the enquiry, the [GAO] found that four out of the fifteen cases had campus officials, “encouraging applicants to commit fraud”, where the school officials would then “lie about or misrepresent their programs” as found during an undercover investigation by government officials. According to the GAO report, Westech College, MedVance Institute, Westwood College, and Anthem College all made, “deceptive or otherwise questionable statements”, during which they made fraudulent suggestions.
All fifteen of the for-profit colleges provided false information about the college’s accreditation, graduation rates, prospective job opportunities and associated salaries, as well as the duration and cost of the programs. All of the schools also used hard sell and marketing tactics in order to enroll students, even if they were under qualified.
The for-profit institutions receive the majority of their funding, but no more than 90% over two years, in government funding such as federal loans. Since this is the case, the for-profit colleges push enrolling students who require federal loans, since this is how they make a profit. One undercover applicant was told by a representative at the University of Phoenix to, “take thousands of dollars in loans” despite having $250,000 in savings. In addition to this, a former admissions officer at Denver University was told that, “enrolling a student was a psychological game”, and that all he had to do was conduct a fake interview that would bring in students.
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