There is an overlooked subsector in education as Silicon Valley continues to grow. Tech leaders make frequent calls to D.C. in order to increase skills-based visas. It makes sense for the sake of the best and brightest foreign students graduating from legitimate colleges (Stanford, UC schools, SCU, SJSU) which offer a great pipeline to local companies. It’s hard to argue against STEM-based visas in these cases.
As a longtime resident of the Bay Area, I come across many people. I recently learned that there is a “Northwestern” in Fremont. Many great colleges have set up outposts in the Bay Area (Wharton, Carnegie Mellon, etc). I never heard about this one.
But there is a growing trend among opportunistic entrepreneurs to offer private education under the guise of fake colleges. They seize federally-provided loans to make a profit: Article link
They exploit foreign students eager to get a U.S. education, but don’t have the credentials to get into legitimate colleges: Fake Fremont college
These students typically graduate with an accelerated STEM education and aggressively pursue jobs at startups and small consultancies that honor their OPT visas. Again, there is a group of clever entrepreneurs eager to hire them and pay them a minimal salary (as mandated by OPT) as they get through a one or two-year trial period. These firms then try to convert them to H-1B status. The brightest in this lot will try to join more established firms.
Surprisingly, the elite colleges don’t supply an abundance of these workers. The fake colleges have found a niche. And there is a cottage industry of entrepreneurs making this wheel spin: Legal working status from fake colleges
The immigration issue is complicated. The rules are not clearly defined for what connotes as “education.” The fake colleges certainly don’t help hard-working American taxpayers. The entrepreneurs who support them should not be in business.