Zany times in the for-profit college business

Today’s New York Times tells the story of the MBA program at Frederick Taylor University, an unaccredited business school headquartered in Moraga, California. For a mere $5,000 you can earn an MBA from the “university.” The school is entirely online, has no classes, and measures student performance with open-book, multiple-choice exams.

The Times astutely notes that the program at Frederick Taylor is not as rigorous as those offered by its accredited peers although naive applicants don’t seem to notice. “I did not realize that it did not carry the same weight as Berkeley or Stanford,” said a recent MBA graduate.

In a front-page story, the Times also notes that Mitt Romney has been praising Full Sail University. To its credit, Full Sail does have a physical campus although the school has begun offering “a full slate of progressive and creative online degree programs.” Romney has said for-profit schools hold down the cost of education. Tuition for a bachelor’s in Film, Game Art, or Web Design is $80,000+. Full Sails’ CEO is co-chair of Romney’s fund-raising team in Florida.