The building on the edge of Silicon Valley looks like a DMV. And yet, it's a college—sort of. Based on interviews with current and former students and staff and "more than a thousand pages of bank statements, emails, and student records," BuzzFeed reports that Northwestern Polytechnic University is simply "an upmarket visa mill" allowing foreign students to live and work in the US. The school, which had 16 students in 1991, now has more than 6,000—95% of whom come from India. NPU hosts classes, which students attend, but the professors aren't employed full-time or permanently and have been banned from failing students so they keep their student visas, BuzzFeed reports. In one case, President George Hsieh—who retired last year—personally raised 600 grades to keep students enrolled.
In 2014, the school began pulling failing students out of classes so their GPA wouldn't be affected, though that policy was reversed in January when the school was labeled "dodgy" by the Indian press; Indian banks usually terminate loans if a student is put on academic probation. What is all that tuition money funding? Well, the college bought two homes worth $3.7 million in 2013. Peter Hsieh, who took over for his dad, lives in one, while his brother-in-law and executive vice president lives in the other. Records suggest they and other Hsieh family members have used the university's $77 million in assets for personal expenses that include a $150 toilet seat. Peter Hsieh says the school "denies [the] allegations of impropriety" and is "thoroughly investigating and addressing academic deficiencies." Read the article in full here. (Homeland Security created a fake college.)