Should a School with a Financial Statement Like This Be Authorized to Teach Accounting to Foreign Students?

By David North on August 5, 2014

This is one of an occasional series of reports on some of the extremely marginal educational institutions licensed by the Department of Homeland Security to cause the admission of foreign students to the United States.

For an earlier example, regarding Herguan University in California, see here. Both are for-profit institutions.

Regarding the text below, how often does one see, in a document prepared for the public by an educational institution, four different ways of spelling a single word, in this case "interest," in five lines of type?




An unretouched portion of the annual financial report, on file with the State of Virginia, of the DHS-licensed American College of Commerce and Technology, Falls Church, Va.


What is not visible, however, is a considerably more serious problem, the filing of a clearly misleading financial report with a public agency by this entity. You see, the annual profit for the year 2012 for the American College of Commerce and Technology was not really $20,070, as noted above, it was a loss of $329,930. What ACCT did was to disguise the substantial loss by transferring $350,000 in capital into a "scholarship fund" that it included in its gross income.

That such a transfer is clearly in conflict with generally accepted accounting rules was noted in the one-page audit report also filed with the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), a regulatory body.

ACCT not only is not accredited to operate as an institution of higher education, it has been denied accreditation by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), an organization that has granted accreditation to many for-profit and frankly, in my eyes, marginal institutions. So if ACICS says no to you, you must be in trouble.

The very first word on ACCT's financial report, incidentally, is "Indepentant (sic) Auditor's Report."

One wonders: Did the college read its own report, and that of the auditor, before filing them with SCHEV? Did SCHEV, a not-very-assertive body, read the report? Does DHS care about the quality of "education" offered by such places? This one, at least on paper, provides a master's in business administration and courses in accounting, according to its website.

I suspect the answers to all those questions are all negative.

Unfortunately federal law does not require that career colleges like ACCT to be accredited before issuing the visa-creating I-20 form, nor does the SCHEV pay much attention to its own rules on licensing non-accredited institutions, although it did recently put the University of Northern Virginia out of business, as we reported in an earlier blog.

Let me conclude on a positive note: Virginia receives financial reports from such institutions, regards them as public, and then responded in less than 48 hours to an FOIA request for a full text of this report and that of two other marginal educational institutions.

Would that the Department of Homeland Security acted in the same way!

Readers seeking the full texts of these three reports can request them from [email protected].