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Bridgepoint Won't Appeal Accreditation Denial

Ashford University, the overwhelmingly major part of San Diego's controversial for-profit Bridgepoint Education, said today (Sept. 28) that it will not appeal the decision by Western Association of Schools and Colleges to deny Ashford accreditation. The denial came in July. Shortly, another agency, the Higher Learning Commission, said it would review its accreditation. Ashford said it will reapply for Western Association accreditation by Oct. 11. Ashford recently cut 450 admissions jobs and reassigned 200 admissions personnel. The Western Association had pointed out, as have Congressional investigators and others involved in education, that Bridgepoint spends more money on marketing that it does on education.

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Ashford University, the overwhelmingly major part of San Diego's controversial for-profit Bridgepoint Education, said today (Sept. 28) that it will not appeal the decision by Western Association of Schools and Colleges to deny Ashford accreditation. The denial came in July. Shortly, another agency, the Higher Learning Commission, said it would review its accreditation. Ashford said it will reapply for Western Association accreditation by Oct. 11. Ashford recently cut 450 admissions jobs and reassigned 200 admissions personnel. The Western Association had pointed out, as have Congressional investigators and others involved in education, that Bridgepoint spends more money on marketing that it does on education.

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I doubt that this means Bridgepoint has had a change of heart. Rather, I suspect, the appeal to internet-savvy folks means that the more they fight, the more bad publicity they create. So, they'll attempt to do as little as possible while satisfying WASC, and get back to their shady business. Perhaps when Ashford can truly claim to spend more on education than on marketing, the accrediting agencies will decide Ashford is sincere. And if a college is sincere, never mind the actual performance, it will likely receive that much-coveted accreditation. How about spending ten times, or better yet one hundred times, as much on education as on marketing?

Sept. 28, 2012

There is little doubt that Bridgepoint, through Ashford, is trying to put more emphasis on education and less on marketing. After all, that is what the accreditation teams, along with government observers of this company, complain about the most: it is more like a boiler room than an educational institution. The question is whether it will work. Without all those salespeople, will the company be able to recruit students? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 29, 2012

I'd say the answer is obvious, a resounding NO, at least at the levels it has managed so far. But it might actually end up giving a decent education to a far reduced number of students. The matter of cost is always present in education, and with the escalation of tuition at many universities, both public and private, in the past two decades, there's always a question of cost vs. benefit. For generations, Americans have bought into the notion of "more education is better", and the cost was generally not considered. That is/was the makings of our education bubble.

Sept. 29, 2012

Bridgepoint/Ashford is a scam, more interested in milking, or I should say scamming, taxpayer backed student loans where they have absolutely NO Skin in the game and such loans will never ever be paid back, the education will not give the ROI needed to pay back the ridiculously high tuition and fee costs. This country of ours is really a banana republic where the wealthy and connected are writing laws that make them richer-and everyone else poorer.

Sept. 29, 2012

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