Northcentral University and Title IV

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Randy Miller, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. Randy Miller

    Randy Miller New Member

    Do you think this could be the reason Northcentral University is no longer in the Title IV Program?

    There appears no doubt that the Dr. Hecht in this decision is the founder of Northcentral. I wonder if the $500,000 fine was ever paid?

    I couldn't find any information on the type of violations.
  2. c.novick

    c.novick New Member

    Would something issued September 6, 1991 carry that much of an impact on current events?
  3. bing

    bing New Member

    To me, Northcentral is what it is. An RA school that has no TitleIV. So, students seem to have alternatives that, in my opinion, would be equally as good. The first alternative is just as good as NCU. It's Touro. The price difference is hardly anything and the library resources seem even better than NCU's...which will likely save one money in the PhD program.


  4. tesch

    tesch New Member

    Additional information –

    From the court records, it looks like the violations/issues were related to the following:

    *Erroneous Guaranteed Student Loan (GLS) disbursements

    *Erroneous Pell Grant disbursements

    *Unmade refunds to the Department of Education and Lenders for improper disbursements

    *Failure to maintain records and or reconstruct records necessary for audit

    *Disbursements to student not enrolled in the institution

    *Disbursements to students in the absences of financial aid transcripts

    *Disbursements to students in the absence of verification

    *Extended intervals of unresolved GLS credit balances

    *Disbursements to students who failed to maintain satisfactory progress

    *Disbursements to ineligible students due to default status

    Apparently, neither Dr. Hecht, Balin’s attorneys, or any other Balin representative showed for the proceeding. Hecht’s lawyers evidently withdrew from the case because Balin had not paid the attorney’s fees and costs approved by the Court. The court also fined Balin $500,000.

    So, Balin went bankrupt under Dr. Hecht and they apparently stuck the Department of Education and taxpayers for ($172,469.05), lenders for ($76,167.00), and skipped on $500,000 court ordered fines? I guess it is onward and upward as it goes from there….

    Dr. Bear or Rich (Dr.) Douglas, do you have any additional history surrounding Balin? What were the implications or outcome for students enrolled in Balin’s programs during that time?

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2005
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No, sorry. I didn't even know this stuff.
  6. Randy Miller

    Randy Miller New Member

    Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV

    Wow, I assumed maybe the govenment was just referring to some bookkeeping mistakes. But the details seem such more serious.

    Is Northcentral University accredited by WASC? I wonder if they knew of this history?
  7. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV

    So that I don't have to try to decipher all that legalese, can anyone print a snapshot summary of what the case is about and who the defendant(s) is?
  8. bing

    bing New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV

    Was Northcentral U even mentioned in this, ? I took a quick look at it yesterday but only saw Balin U or Balin Tech(can't get to the link today for some reason).


  9. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Re: Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV

    WASC has no jurisdiction over schools in Arizona. Northcentral University is accredited by the North Central Association.
  10. aceman

    aceman New Member

    I just pulled up that link and looked through it. I can not find NCU, SCUPS, Dr. Hecht or any other association with NCU. I am confused as to the point with that specific link.


  11. tesch

    tesch New Member

    Look here:

    The association is with Dr. Hecht and apparent past venture.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2005
  12. Randy Miller

    Randy Miller New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV

    Dr. Hecht, the president of Balin is the president of Northcentral University.
  13. bing

    bing New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV

    So, just another officer going BK with a company and then starting another one up hoping to make it on the next venture? Looks like Hecht is quite a bit more successful with NCU and SCUPS. Only in today's world a CEO BKs a company with bad management and then turns around and re-opens the "new company", with the same lousy management(and even giving bonuses for the upper management that "stick around" through the BK). The Feds tightened the laws on personal BK but did nothing for corporate shenanigans.

    Again, NCU wasn't mentioned in the case.


  14. tesch

    tesch New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV

    But at whose expense: the taxpayer, lenders, students and alumni? Really.... this is about a lifelong educational investment; not an assumed risk unintended by most students and alumni associated with just another for-profit business venture.

    As a new business venture, however, I would still look for and favor a CEO and management team with a demonstrated history of strong sustainable success and avoid or heavily scrutinize those with a history of failure/s or old baggage.

  15. bing

    bing New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV

    I don't disagree to much with what you say below.

    I do think that there are even some risks going to brick and mortars. I recall a thread not long ago that discussed all the schools, brick and mortar, that have closed down or merged. This isn't to say that even big name schools don't have unscrupulous methods and practices either. They are often in better shape because they are state schools or have more powerful alumni boards. It's just that it looks worse for a startup school because they don't have the above.

  16. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Nobody wants to spend time, money and effort to achieve a degree from a RA college that eventually goes under because it would be humuliating to tell people that you hold an accredited degree from a college that no longer exists. That is one reason why the state university system has an appeal. I would not want to have to explain to people that my degree is from a non-existant college that went defunct and I certainly wouldn't want to try to explain that to a potential employer because then I'd feel like I'm having to defend the quality of the degree. Selecting an RA school for a degree is serious business that isn't to be taken lightely because it's a lifelong investment that will follow you to your grave.
  17. bing

    bing New Member

    And then there are those brick and mortar RA schools that do go under from time to time. Here are a few examples from Iowa...

    # Amity College (College Springs, Page County)
    # Cherokee Junior College (Cherokee)
    # Grundy College (Grundy Center)
    # Iowa Lutheran School of Nursing (Des Moines)
    # Iowa Methodist School of Nursing (Des Moines)
    # Keokuk College (Keokuk)
    # Marycrest University (Davenport)
    # Midwestern College (Denison)
    # Open Bible College (Des Moines)
    # Ottumwa Heights College (Ottumwa)
    # Parsons College (Fairfield)
    # Perry Junior College (Perry)
    # Sioux Empire College (Hawarden)
    # Spencer College (Spencer)
    # Tabor College (Tabor)
    # Tabor Junior College (Tabor)
    # Trinity College (Sioux City)
    # Washington Junior College (Washington)
    # Westmar College (LeMars)

  18. simon

    simon New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV

    In fact, Dr. Hecht has clearly "demonstrated history of strong sustainable success" with his extremely successful ventures with SCUPS and Northcentral University. In addition, his attainment of regional accreditation should not be minimized as it as a major business related venture and accomplishment achieved primarily by major entrepreneurs such as Steve Schenks of Capella University.

    Furthermore, a persons history of bankruptcy, "old baggage" and other past business failings cannot be used as a prognostic indicator in terms of whether they will succeed or fail in the future.
    Numerous examples exist (just pick up a copy of the daily Wall Street Journal) of entrepreneurs who were involved in all sorts of failed business ventures, law suits, myriad accusations and bankrupcy proceedings and who in spite of such histories and others "doom and gloom" predictions, went on to build successful and sustainable businesses.
  19. tesch

    tesch New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV


    I appreciate your position; however, we obviously use different yardsticks in terms of predictors for future performance, conduct and overall success. Based on my 25 years of business and executive management experience and development of several successful businesses, I’ve found that past performance history, results, judgment, and professional conduct to be perhaps conservative but good predictors of overall future performance, management abilities, ethical behavior, and professional responsibility. Candidly, I have never looked for, or allowed, someone who has exercised poor business judgment, made calculated mistakes, sunk a business, mismanaged an organization, or facilitated questionable business practices to fill a senior management, executive or other leadership position in any of my companies. Actually, I don’t believe any of my associates from other responsible companies have done so either. That is not to say that such a person might not be successful eventually. However, I’m not willing to take the risk and see what happens while they try to get it right. Instead, I tend toward seasoned individuals with solid backgrounds, superior abilities, exceptional integrity, strong leadership skill, and a demonstrated history of good judgment and proven success.

    Actually, our philosophical difference surrounding predictors of executive management performance or an individual’s propensity toward success or failure is not the primary issue at hand. As I see it, the area of primary concern collectively involves understanding the source of the behavior, character and leadership that facilitated the bankrupting of an educational institution, poor business/financial practices, obtainment of government and private student loan funds by erroneous means, and the failure to adequately address or return the same upon demand. The latter issues, outcomes and subsequent court ordered fine of $500k do not appear to be a matter of external market forces, poor luck of the draw or some other unforeseen condition beyond the direct control of Balin’s principle management. Accordingly, it seems quite reasonable to raise questions surrounding the recent Title IV program changes or other concerns related to NCU while under Dr. Hecht’s ownership.

    We ultimately bear responsibility for our past actions (or inactions) along with any subsequent implications they have for our future.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2005
  20. Randy Miller

    Randy Miller New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Northcentral University and Title IV

    Does anyone know how successful SCUPS and Northcentral are?

    I agree that a bankrupty should not always be held against an individual or business. Many fine individuals and businesses have gone through the process. But breaking federal law and being fined $500,000 seems to go beyond a simple bankruptcy.


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