North Dakota Diploma Mill Sees Continued Decline In Enrollment

Dickinson State University, still recovering from a “diploma mill” scandal that saw the institution issuing hundreds of phony diplomas to foreign students (but hey, they kept their accreditation!), is claiming their enrollment numbers are “above historical averages,” according to the Dickinson Press.

That’s some heavy duty spin.

In reality, spring 2014 enrollment is actually down slightly from fall 2013 enrollment – 1,404 vs. 1,449 – and both of those numbers are way down from a few years ago.

DSU’s fall enrollment in 2010 was 2,482, which means enrollment through the spring semester of 2014 is down more than 43%. More troubling is that the university has seen a big decline in new students.

“A total of 403 students are tagged as freshman who have completed fewer than 24 credit hours, with 165 of those listed as ‘first-time’ freshmen,” reported Bryan Horwath for the Press about DSU’s fall enrollment numbers. That number is down an alarming 46% from the 311 “first time” freshman students enrolled in 2011, and down 50% from the 331 “first time” freshman in 2010.

It would be hard to blame prospective students for shying away from DSU. After all, who wants to be associated with a school that has a reputation as a diploma mill? Especially given that higher education officials in the state have done little to hold those responsible for the diploma fraud accountable. There have never been any criminal charges brought up for this rampant fraud, and certain university officials who were in positions to at the very least be aware of the fraud, and perhaps were active participants, are still working at the university.

In fact, they got promotions.

If you want to know what a lack of accountability in the face of academic fraud looks like, it’s a more than 43% decline in enrollment.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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