Scam High Schools

Discussion in 'High School Education via Distance Learning' started by Kizmet, Feb 11, 2016.

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  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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    I just found out about these schools recently. I had an employee "attend" one. He took a free exam and once he passed it was given the option to pay a graduation fee and get his diploma. They weren't even claiming accreditation.

    Plenty of legit on,one high school options out there, no need to get scammed trying to take the easy way out.
     
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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    A lot of these "storefront schools" were used for athletes looking to academically qualify for NCAA scholarships. My high school has had so many graduates go on to Division I schools, the NCAA sent an investigative team to check the school. From what I understand, when they arrived, the first thing they saw was the planetarium at the state-of-the-art science center, and said "Well, we're here, might as well have the full tour".
     
  4. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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    Ha! I wonder how often they arrive at a UPS store.
     
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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    Quite often, according to my alumni newsletter.

    I suppose it's a dead giveaway when a high school has an address of 123 Main Street #207.
     
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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  7. rodmc

    rodmc New Member

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    Its about time...

    These guys were scamming people for well over a decade. I have read all of the court pleadings.

    https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2016/02/ftc-brings-two-actions-against-operators-online-high-schools?utm_source=govdelivery

    The owner, Stephen Remley, has a home in Arizona worth $ 800K, and a beach home in Hawaii valued at 4M. He also drives a Ferrari. Over the past 18-months, our school has helped over 70 victims make complaints with the BBB, AG and FTC. We have also issued scholarships to help those victims earn a tuition-free, regionally accredited high school diploma from Excel High School.

    How did we do this? We made the issue public.

    List of Fake Online High Schools and Fake Online GED Programs | Excel High School

    Our blog post is on page # 1 in Google for every relative keyword. We received numerous calls on a daily basis. We shared what we knew with Joe Ducey from ABC15 News Arizona and he did a great story. ABC News will be following the case ongoing.

    These diplomas mills cause problems for all parties involved. We are happy to see that the FTC is taking action. The only way to close down these diploma mills is to expose them to the public.

    These diploma mills are very problematic. Some victims of this scam did go to college and were wrongfully issued financial aid. These are the people that are most likely to default on their Govt. backed student loans. The Feds don't like this and they want to reserve financial aid for those students with a valid GED or properly accredited high school diploma.

    The Govt. has closed many fake high schools over the past year. The owners of these diploma mills will be left financially devastated once the FTC is done. They may even end up in jail. The Postal Inspector, FBI and IRS are involved, too.
    Diploma mill operators have a target on their back. There is no such thing as a quick and easy degree. Learning takes time and dedication. Glad to see these guys gone!
     
  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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    I'd like to see your source for this (the fact that people without a high school diploma/GED are more likely to default on student loans), please.
     
  9. rodmc

    rodmc New Member

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  10. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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    This report mentions high school diplomas exactly once and that is to state:

    But, I appreciate you throwing a big bunch of unrelated data at me hoping that I would simply be too lazy to peruse it.

    Pell grants aren't loans so a student can't really default on them so that obviously wasn't a concern. And none of the justification papers seem to making the claim that students receiving Title IV funds, who do not currently possess a high school diploma, are at a greater risk of default on their federally subsidized loans than those who do possess a high school diploma. Even if they did, my immediate question would be how that correlation was interpreted to be a causal relationship. If I take two 18 year olds, one with a GED and one without, and sent them to trucking school their ability to repay their loans has very little to do with their GED (or lack thereof).

    The only person who appears to be making a claim to the contrary is you.

    So, if you have some sort of back-up for that claim you'd like to share, I'd love to review it. If not, kindly admit that you simply made an unsubstantiated claim buried in the not-so-subtle commercial you just offered us for the school you founded. Thanks a bunch.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2016
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    What do you have against the traditional one room schoolhouse? :wink:
     
  12. rodmc

    rodmc New Member

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    No, I am not wrong....


    Actually, this data comes from the GAO with data collected from the US Dept. of Education

    http://www.gao.gov/assets/300/294057.pdf
    U.S. GAO - Proprietary Schools: Stronger Department of Education Oversight Needed to Help Ensure Only Eligible Students Receive Federal Student Aid
    https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111hhrg52655/html/CHRG-111hhrg52655.htm
    http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/student-loan-default-trap-report.pdf

    Does the US government collect this data today? No, because college students applying for federal financial aid are required to have an "accredited" high school diploma or a high school equivalency credential issued by their respective State Department of Education, division of adult education.

    "unsubstantiated claim" Hardly! I have worked directly with title IV for 12-years, so I very much understand ED’s position related to risk factors. I guarantee that I know a lot more about title IV than you. I am a member of MCCA and this is always a hot topic.

    This is the number one reason for the 2012 change and the discontinuation of ABT. There is a reason the Federal Govt. requires an accredited high school diploma or GED to be eligible for title IV. Students that have with an accredited high school diploma, GED or qualified homeschool diploma, have a lower default rate, PERIOD! The US Military also shares this belief.

    US Military Enlistment Standards -- Education
    The US Military tracks trends. Those who compete high school have a greater chance of completing basic training and AIT.

    If you believe that high school drop-outs have the same level of risk concerning defaulting on title IV funds as those who have an accredited high school diploma or GED, you are sadly mistaken.

    Had I known I was writing a research paper, I would have included my sources.

    And lastly, you are welcome for the commercial. My organization is directly responsible for helping to shut down one of America's largest diploma mills. You can take time to go to:
    www.pacermonitor.com

    Search:
    Federal Trade Commission v. Stepping Stonez Development LLC et al

    You can purchase the pleadings and affidavits provided by the government and several complainants. They directly reference the assistance provided by Excel High School with the complaint process.

    Say what you will, 1000's of people will not be scammed in the future due to the work that was done by our school.

    Unless you enjoy seeing those folks who can least afford to be "ripped off" taken advantage of, I'd think you would appreciate the efforts that were put forth. If not, then so be it. Those who were helped are very grateful. Everyone wins when diploma mills are shut down.
    No, I am not wrong. I am 100% correct.
     
  13. rodmc

    rodmc New Member

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    FTC vs. Stafford Career Institute

    This is lawsuit # 2 filed by the FTC within the past week. Stafford Career Institute has been issuing bogus high school diplomas for years.

    https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2016/02/ftc-files-action-against-stratford-career-institute-misleading

    The Feds are now targeting unaccredited high schools, as they have with college degree mills in recent years. The Feds/States have closed almost all big high school diploma mill players within the past 18 months. Nice to see the Government taking action.
     
  14. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    It's not Stafford - It's Stratford Career Institute - and, as the plaintiff states, their head office is here in Canada. At DI, we've discussed them, their unsuccessful bid for DETC (now DEAC) accreditation and their "HS diplomas" fairly often. And yes, it IS nice to see the Government taking action. And it's good to hear of your school's help to victims of the 'Stepping Stonez" scam. I don't mind a school creating a bit of good PR here when good work was done.

    Now a question, Rod. Besides (accredited) Excel High School - you have Excel College, a State-authorized school in Minnesota, as yet with no accreditation recognized as RA or NA by USDoE or CHEA. We have a thread here:

    http://www.degreeinfo.com/business-mba-degrees/43635-opinions-about-new-online-college-state-approval-but-no-accreditation-%5Byet%5D.html

    I quote: "Since our State requires that we obtain USDOE recognized accreditation, we are fully vested in our mission of quality. We are not like some of these other online schools that never plan to become recognized by CHEA."

    Since that time (2012), your school has obtained accreditation from two British Companies, ASIC and QISAN. Legal enough, but it is not RA or NA accreditation in the US. These companies are recognized (and are listed) by US authorities as overseas accreditation agencies. Yes - I believe at least one company serves on a CHEA committee, but that's not the same thing. Excel's website mentions that the school has chosen these international accreditors because Excel has - and attracts - students from many foreign countries.

    As you have stated, Minnesota requires State-approved schools to become accredited within five years. From your quote the State appears to mean accredited by a US-recognized NA or RA accreditation agency.
    Is Excel College making - or does it plan to make - efforts to attain RA or NA accreditation? If not, why not?

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2016
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Hmm. The even bigger question is: If they have no high school dip[loma or no GED, how did they end up with student loan debt?
     
  16. mbwa shenzi

    mbwa shenzi Member

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    It's actually an open question whether it's two different companies since ASIC and QISAN are run by roughly the same set of people on 13 Yarm Road in Stockton-on-Tees. And so is ASIQUAL.

    Perfectly legal, but not comparable to RA or NA accreditation.

    As far as I know, ASIC has no remit whatsoever outside the UK.
     
  17. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    "I'll take accreditation for $1,000, Alex." :smile:

    3 in a row! Another clean sweep for one of my favourite mavens.

    (1) I THOUGHT there was something familiar about that address!

    (2) I say it is not RA or NA. You say it's not comparable. I think we're both right. Lets see what Rod has to say.

    (3) I think that's a fair statement. I also think one of ASIC's main marketing messages is that the company makes sure its schools - wherever located - are fit places for students from abroad. So - regardless of anything else, I can see why a school attracting foreign students to campus might buy in. But Excel is a DL school as far as I know, so... :question: :question: What puzzles me is if/how this form of accreditation will be acceptable to the State of Minnesota for continued operation.

    I am very eager to see Rod's reply to all these issues.

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2016
  18. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Ted, the article said that until 2011, proprietary schools with financial aid could enrol students who passed basic reading and math tests OR had GED / HS diplomas. Requirements changed to include only HS diplomas or GEDs in 2011.

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2016
  19. rodmc

    rodmc New Member

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    USDOE accreditation is forthcoming. I am not permitted to disclose information at this time. : )
     
  20. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Understood. Glad to hear it. Look forward to further developments.

    J.
     

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