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Fraud in For-Profit Higher Education


The rising prominence of for-profit higher education in recent years has been impressive, as these organizations have come to play a more prominent role in American higher education. Nonetheless, for-profits continue to be troubled by allegations of fraud and other questionable practices, usually involving federal student-aid and the recruitment of students, which have triggered new regulations by the Department of Education. This article examines the criminogenic nature of the behavior in the for-profit sector, both from an historical and a more contemporary perspective. The analysis indicates that market structures and government policies play crucial roles in facilitating crime in these organizations and that such behavior is likely to continue despite tougher regulations, since the same elements will continue to influence for-profit colleges.

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Correspondence to William Beaver.

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Beaver, W. Fraud in For-Profit Higher Education. Soc 49, 274–278 (2012).

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  • Fraud for-profits regulation student loans
  • Criminogenesis