Stratford University, a for-profit institution, announced Friday that it would close by the end of this week, providing little notice to students and blaming the Department of Education for the decertification of Stratford’s accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
InsideNova reported that students were made aware of the coming closure two weeks ago, with promises of an 18-month teach-out to help them complete pending degree programs. But leadership reneged on that promise, informing students last week that Stratford would close later this week. InsideNova reported that 800 of Stratford’s roughly 2,000 students are now in limbo.
Headquartered in Virginia, Stratford has three U.S. campuses as well as another in India.
ACICS lost its federal recognition in August after years of scrutiny for accrediting failing institutions—some of which defrauded students—and was frequently a target of for-profit education critics and both the Obama and Biden administrations. When it lost federal recognition last month, ACICS accredited 44 institutions with a combined 67 campuses.
Colleges under ACICS have 18 months to find a new accreditor or lose access to federal funds.