Department of Education Announces Use of Secret Shoppers

The Department of Education announced this week that the Office of Federal Student Aid will use secret shoppers to monitor compliance in federal student aid programs. The announcement mentioned that secret shoppers will look for misrepresentations regarding the transferability of credits, job placement rates, completion and withdrawal rates, graduates’ future earning potential, career services, the cost of attendance, the amount of federal student aid, and accreditation status, along with any other practices that may violate the laws and regulations governing an institution’s participation in the federal student aid programs. Since the announcement, trade publications such as Inside Higher Ed have written articles concerning the new initiative.