According to a report released Nov. 22 by the Government Accountability Office, most of the commercial colleges tested by undercover investigators posing as students allowed them to enroll in online courses with fake high school graduation credentials, the New York Times reports. And most of the colleges that enrolled investigators violated academic policies on cheating or grading, or the federal regulations requiring exit counseling for those with student loans, the report said. Between October 2010 and last month, the investigators posed as students and tried to enroll in introductory online courses at 15 commercial colleges, 12 of which allowed them to use a fictitious home-school diploma or a diploma from a high school that had closed. The students then tested the colleges’ academic practices by ignoring assignments; turning in incorrect, unresponsive, or plagiarized homework; or failing to log in to class. Sen. Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa and chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, requested the undercover report as part of his continuing investigation into the practices of the rapidly expanding commercial sector. “The fact that many of the schools accepted incomplete and plagiarized work—sometimes for full credit—leads me to question whether for-profit college students are truly receiving the quality education they are promised to prepare them for a good job,” Harkin said in a statement…

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