High School Diploma Mills
October 16, 2009
Maybe we should adjust the White Paper we just released on Diploma Mills to include High Schools! This of course doesn’t surprise me at all but the article highlights an even more important need for quality background screening. Now these are not the traditional types of scams that we have written about in the past but very serious nonetheless.
An undercover investigation found students were given answers to the tests needed to enroll in college
Government investigators are pursuing high school diploma mills, which, for a fee, give high school dropouts diplomas or answers to the tests that enable them to enroll in college and qualify for federal financial aid.
In testimony before a congressional panel on Wednesday, George Scott, a director of the Education, Workforce, and Income Security division of the Government Accountability Office, played secretly made audiotapes of a test proctor apparently giving students the answers to college-qualifying tests.
The tapes were made by investigators looking into for-profit colleges. Scott said the investigators walked into Washington, D.C.-area offices of a publicly traded for-profit college and told the admissions officers that they did not have high school diplomas but wanted to enroll. Scott did not identify the colleges or testing companies his agency investigated.
Normally, colleges don’t admit students who haven’t graduated from high school. To qualify for federal financial aid, students without diplomas or GED certifications must pass tests to show they have enough language and math skills to ensure their “ability to benefit” (often abbreviated as “ATB”) from a college education. ATB tests are supposed to be given by companies or proctors who have no connections to colleges, so that there is no incentive to improperly pass students.
But the college under investigation, apparently eager to get more paying students, directed the agents to a test center at which a proctor gave answers to three of 10 questions.
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