Online for-profit college faces accreditation rejection, shareholder lawsuit

Ashford’s dropout rate since 2007 is 50 percent.

Ashford University, one of the country’s fastest growing online for-profit schools, is fighting to remain accredited while investors are suing the university’s parent company for an elaborate insider trading scheme and alleged violations of financial filings with the federal government.

July hasn’t been a good month for Ashford or its parent company, Bridgepoint Education, and it could get worse for the company if it doesn’t quell concerns about high student dropout rates, academic rigor, and a low number of full-time Ashford faculty members.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) last week rejected Ashford’s bid for accreditation – a public admonition that sent Bridgepoint’s stock prices tumbling by more than 30 percent. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, another accrediting body, is now giving Ashford a month to comply with basic accreditation criteria, according to a Bridgepoint filing.…Read More