Nonprofit Conversions and Student Success

Recommendations for Accreditors


In recent years, many for-profit institutions of higher education have entered modified their corporate structure to change their tax status to nonprofit. But the corporate behaviors that have plagued students attending many for-profit colleges do not end simply because an institution has shed its for-profit designation. And given that nonprofit institutions are subject to less restrictive statutory and regulatory oversight, accreditor review at a transitional moment such as a conversion is critical. Unfortunately, the entire higher education triad, including accreditors, have not devoted sufficient attention to scrutinizing and responding to these corporate transactions. 

This paper affirms the authority of accrediting agencies to oversee nonprofit conversions and provides specific recommendations for heightened monitoring of an institution after a conversion. Our aim is to assist accrediting agencies in rooting out bad actors, while providing tools to approve bona fide conversions that benefit students and improve higher education.

Download the Report (.pdf)