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Issues

What is the GAO?

The U.S. Government Accountability Office [ www.gao.gov ] is the investigative arm of Congress with the responsibility of improving performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. The GAO performed undercover testing of the admissions practices of a random sample of 15 for-profit schools. This testing found fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading conduct at each of the schools visited.

GAO Reports

August 4, 2010

For-Profit Colleges: Undercover Testing Finds Colleges Encouraged Fraud and Engaged in Deceptive and Questionable Marketing Practices

Report is in Adobe Reader format

The GAO performed undercover testing of the admissions practices of a random sample of 15 for-profit schools. This testing found fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading conduct at each of the schools visited.

Additional Misleading and Deceptive Conduct by For-Profit Recruiters Documented on GAO Undercover Tapes.

Report is in Adobe Reader format

After Senator Harkin requested the full audio tapes of GAO's undercover visits, HELP staff reviewed the audio and noted further instances of deceptive conduct.

GAO Undercover Video

Deceptive Recruiting Practices

Video of Undercover Testing Finds Colleges Encouraged Fraud and Engaged in Deceptive and Questionable Marketing Practices.

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Link to Video

GAO Undercover Audio Files

Undercover recordings of visits by GAO agents to for-profit schools.

The files below contain audio recordings of 26 visits to 13 for-profit schools in 2010. GAO visited each school twice, posing once as an applicant who was eligible to receive both grants and loans (Scenario 1), and once as an applicant with a salary and assets that would qualify the applicant only for unsubsidized loans (Scenario 2).

School 1

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 81.8MB
Duration: 1 hour 29 minutes 26 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 48.6MB
Duration: 53 minutes 10 seconds

School 2

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 106MB
Duration: 1 hour 56 minutes 26 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 58.8MB
Duration: 1 hour 4 minutes 15 seconds

School 3

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 63.9MB
Duration: 1 hour 9 minutes 48 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 102MB
Duration: 55 minutes 52 seconds

School 4

Scenario 1 Not Available

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 73.8MB
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes 41 seconds

School 5

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 123MB
Duration: 2 hours 14 minutes 26 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 54.4MB
Duration: 59 minutes 28 seconds

School 6

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 32.2MB
Duration: 35 minutes 11 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 39MB
Duration: 42 minutes 39 seconds

School 7

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 334MB
Duration: 3 hours 2 minutes 32 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 93.6MB
Duration: 1 hour 42 minutes 19 seconds

School 8

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 177MB
Duration: 3 hours 13 minutes 26 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 52.6MB
Duration: 57 minutes 31 seconds

School 9

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 34.3MB
Duration: 37 minutes 29 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 27.4MB
Duration: 29 minutes 56 seconds

School 10

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 45.3MB
Duration: 49 minutes 28 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 62.1MB
Duration: 1 hour 7 minutes 55 seconds

School 11

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 45.6MB
Duration: 49 minutes 54 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 48.7MB
Duration: 53 minutes 13 seconds

School 12

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 181MB
Duration: 1 hour 39 minutes 13 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 330MB
Duration: 3 hours 13 seconds

School 13

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 237MB
Duration: 2 hours 9 minutes 30 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 208MB
Duration: 1 hour 53 minutes 59 seconds

School 14

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 61.5MB
Duration: 1 hour 7 minutes 13 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 78.7MB
Duration: 1 hour 26 minutes 1 second

School 15

Scenario 1

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 61.9MB
Duration: 1 hour 7 minutes 38 seconds

Scenario 2

Download File
File Type: MP3
File Size: 83.9MB
Duration: 1 hour 31 minutes 40 seconds