Friday, March 11, 2011

A Ghost University: Welcome to Ashford

This is the scariest thing I have seen in a while, people. This is what the death of education looks like. A California corporation bought the campus of a small Franciscan college in Iowa. The corporation is now using this campus as a front for its huge online education business:
Inside the red brick campus of Ashford University, perched on a bluff above the Mississippi River, the door marked "President's Office" remains perpetually shut. Telephone calls to the university's head are swiftly transferred to a corporate office some 2,000 miles away, in San Diego. A new, 500-seat football stadium adorns the campus, and is featured prominently in Ashford's promotional literature, though the university has no football team. Signs around campus proudly read "Founded 1918" and "90 Years Strong," despite the fact that Ashford -- one of the nation's fastest-growing for-profit colleges -- has existed for less than a decade. The perplexing campus landscape here in Iowa amounts to an elaborate stage set for a lucrative, online education empire that uses these trappings to sell itself to students as a traditional college experience. 

If you feel like telling me that there is nothing wrong with Bridgeport Education Inc. running their business any way they see fit, I'll have to tell you that you are extremely naive. More than 85% of Ashford University's revenue comes from federal financial aid money. Please watch this terrifying video of an empty campus and remember that we, the taxpayers, are giving huge amounts of money to people who run this scam in order to reward them for scamming us.

Now compare the previous video with this promotional piece of garbage that Ashford University shows to unsuspecting future customers:

I haven't felt this disgusted for a long time.


Rimi said...

So... they're lying through their teeth and this is totally legal? Is that the case here.

Rotten fish smells sweeter.

Clarissa said...

I have no idea how it's possible to run this shameless scam and collect FEDERAL money to do so.

In the meanwhile, I have to buy school supplies for my real classes with my own money. Where are my federal dollars?

NancyP said...

These are the same type of people who sold mortgages to people who clearly couldn't afford them, who open "payday loan" businesses in impoverished neighborhoods.

We have a gazillion for profit "vocational" schools that prepare people for non-existent careers, and few actual vocational schools to train people for the HVAC/ weatherproofing, auto repair, electrician, and other necessary jobs.

The one real vocational college around here is Rankin Technical College, in St. Louis City. Admissions are competitive, and students get job offers on graduation. The difference is that the college actually has up-to-date vocational labs (expensive!), and limits student number so that all students get to practice in labs and become proficient before graduation.