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University of Northern Virginia Ordered to Shut Down

The University of Northern Virginia, a small college in Annandale, Virginia, has been ordered to cease all operations immediately, pending a federal investigation. After failing four audits from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, UNVA is forced to close its doors after only fifteen years of existence.

Trouble began in 2007 when the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools denied UNVA’s reaccreditation.  According to the meeting notes from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV), UNVA failed to provide sufficient evidence that the administration evaluates all staff members, nor did it “maintain student records which reflect the requirements for admission of all students.”

Among other problems, it was also cited that the university did not file official transcripts for all faculty, which led to the audits.  Due to these major infractions, UNVA’s accreditation was revoked a year later.

Authorities from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with other agencies, raided the little-known college in 2011, “seizing computers and documents” related to UNVA’s international students. Aside from these issues, former chancellor, David Lee, was forced to resign that same year after his “sex dungeon” scandal.

The university was notified in 2012 that their certification to operate in Virginia was going to be revoked but an agreement was made between the university and SCHEV which extended the deadline to 2013. Unfortunately this deadline was not met and, on July 16, the council decided to revoke its certification.

Although the school only enrolled about 500 students, a majority of the attendees were originally from India. These international students had obtained visas by unknowingly using loopholes that UNVA had exploited, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The higher education board in Virginia is now collecting information regarding student academic and financial records. According to the Huffington Post, the board will help these students receive tuition reimbursements, as well as “discuss their options for continuing education.”

Kayla is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. Along with studying public relations in the School of Mass Communications, she is also minoring in Spanish and becoming familiar with aspects of graphic design. Kayla loves binge-watching episodes of Once Upon a Time, eating ice cream, traveling, swimming in the ocean and, of course, writing. She currently does PR & marketing for  local orthopedic practice but plans to continue writing and hopes to  join a local public relations firm in the future!