Accreditation: This SD college apparently has no students or faculty - 2020-02-15
Accreditation might be the driest part of higher education, but these independent groups have huge importance: If they approve a college, the government agrees to give federal grants and loans to the students there.
The agency in question, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools, has a history of approving questionable colleges, with devastating consequences. It accredited ITT Tech, Corinthian Colleges and Brightwood College, massive for-profit universities whose sudden closures last decade left thousands of students without degrees and undermined the value of the education of those who did graduate. Those closures led President Barack Obama's Education Department to strip ACICS' powers in 2016.
After a federal court decision, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and President Donald Trump's administration reinstated the accrediting agency. By that point, it had lost dozens of colleges and their membership fees. It needed new members, and fast.