- The Middle States Commission on Higher Education announced Friday that it will soon yank accreditation from ASA College, a troubled for-profit institution with campuses in New York and Florida.
- The agency hasn’t yet determined the exact date it will pull ASA College’s accreditation, but it said it won’t extend recognition beyond March. Middle States said it came to the decision after it found the college couldn’t comply with the agency’s standards for accreditation, including those related to governance, ethics and institutional resources.
- If ASA College appeals Middle State’s decision, it could remain accredited until a decision is made on that appeal. However, it would not be able to enroll new students or market to them during that time, the agency said in its announcement.
Middle States’ decision comes after months of mounting financial and legal issues at ASA College.
Just last month, for instance, ASA College agreed to pay nearly $113,000 in civil penalties to New York City’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for running hundreds of misleading ads that targeted immigrants and low-income people in New York. And last year, its president resigned — for the second time — amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Friday’s decision could prove to be a fatal blow to ASA College, which will lose access to federal financial aid if it doesn’t find a way to remain accredited. In 2020, the institution brought in $51.9 million in revenue, with nearly two-thirds of it coming from federal financial aid, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education.
ASA College has been in trouble with Middle States for at least a year. In March, the agency issued a show-cause order against the college, which required the institution to show why it should remain accredited.
It again warned ASA College in October that its accreditation was in peril based on “information from state agencies regarding the institution’s financial status.” That announcement came only about a week after news broke of ASA’s settlement with New York City’s consumer and worker protection department.
In Friday’s announcement, Middle States said it was revoking accreditation in part because ASA College did not provide an asked-for teach-out plan, which details how students will finish their programs if their institution closes.
“The immediate adverse action to withdraw accreditation from ASA College reflects the seriousness with which the Middle States Commission on Higher Education takes our commitment to quality assurance,” Middle States President Heather Perfetti said in a statement. “The Commission must be provided with information it requests so that Commissioners can carry out their accrediting responsibilities and serve our constituents effectively.”
ASA College did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Middle States said it is requiring ASA College to submit a teach-out plan by Dec. 9. The college had almost 3,000 students in fall 2021.