Anyone who has attended college can attest to all of the money they were forced to spend, from $400 textbooks to $500 parking passes – let me count the ways.
That doesn’t even include the initial price for admission, which begins when you send in an application and only goes up from there.
And now, colleges are forcing students to pay to turn in their homework. College has clearly turned into a big money-making scheme.
Arizona State University is a well-known school, but just like a lot of other universities around the US, they have some shady polices that scam students out of money they don’t even have.
Case and point: Arizona State University Economics Professor Brian Geogan recently discovered a college profit scam ongoing at his school, as well as schools all around the nation.
The University was enforcing fail quotas to substantiate their working relationship with the Cengage MindTap program, which is an online pay-to-use program where students can access and turn in assignments.
MindTap sound familiar? Many college students will recognize the name of this program as it is commonly used at campuses across the US.
After uncovering the scam, Professor Geogan was fired. And so, the whistleblower turned to email to inform his students what was going on.
He blasted the email to the entire university with the goal of exposing two policies he cited as “unethical”.
After the email was released, someone posted it to Reddit under the title #1 in Innovation… and corruption. It was since gone viral.
This wasn’t the first time Professor Geogan and University officials bumped heads. Tension had been growing between the professor and the administration for a while when the school decided they would not be renewing his contract in December of 2018.
In an interview with AZ Central, the professor explained his decision to go public with the allegations. “I basically ran out of people to go to at the university,” he explained.
In his letter, Goegan wrote that teachers were prompted to fail students so that they’d be forced to pay extra fees to turn in homework and view assignments via a paywall digital education company he calls a “pet project” that was giving the school grants.
The email outlined two connected policies that related to the same corruption scandal. The first was a financial relationship between Cengage and ASU in which the university had “agreed to require all ECN 211 and 212 students to use MindTap.”
In exchange, the provost would be granted an undisclosed sum of money.
To ensure enough students were required to use the program, ASU had put fail quotas into place. This prevented at least 30% of students from passing.
While Goegan relied on free student networks to post homework assignments, he and his colleagues had been forced to relocate the same assignments “behind the MindTap paywall to ensure students must pay Cengage to pass the class.”
To close off his letter, he reported that disagreements over these policies had resulted in him being let go.
His letter states:
“Students, For the past few years the Economics Department has been enforcing two policies I believe to be unethical, and I feel obligated to disclose them to you.
In order to convince Cengage to give the Provost a large monetary grant, the department agreed to require al ECN 211 and 212 students to use MindTap – a Cengage product. This deal requires students to pay just to turn in their homework. Instructors who were making assignments available on Blackboard/Canvas have been forced to move those same assignments behind the MindTap paywall to ensure students must pay Cengage to pass the class. Students are being saddled with unnecessary costs so the Provost can fund a pet project.
The second policy was put in place to ensure that the Provost’s project was made to look good. All ECN 211, 212, and 221 courses were required to prevent at least 30% of students from passing the class. We were told that we needed to set a baseline against which the Provost’s project could be compared. For many instructors, this meant setting students up to fail so it could seem like the Provost swooped in and fixed a problem that doesn’t exist.”
ASU Executive Vice President Mark Searle has responded to the allegations, releasing a statement that said:
“There are many reasons that a faculty member’s contract might not be renewed, including when a faculty member resists course-correction of multiple shortcomings despite supervisory intervention.”
ASU spokesman Bret Hovell claims the university has never received any money from Cengage, and Cengage backs this in their own statement.
Although, research from AZ Central states that “ASU misspent more than $1 million in federal research funds.”
While some people were surprised to hear about these allegations, others weren’t surprised at all.
The scam isn’t just ongoing at ASU. In fact, universities across the US are forcing students to pay to turn in their homework through this same online program.