This specific flow of the $48 million goes to the employers of alumni of Northwestern Polytechnic University, of Fremont, Calif., which was in danger of losing accreditation until U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made accreditation easier for marginal universities.
NPU, meanwhile, manages year after year to operate at an almost unbelievable profit ratio of 71 percent. For every $1 it received in tuition (there are no reported donations to the place) 71 cents goes into the university’s fast-expanding brokerage account. These remarkable financial returns are reported routinely to the IRS on NPU’s form 990, a sort of 1040 for nonprofits.
NPU is regarded, for some reason, by IRS as a charitable enterprise. It is run by an American Chinese family named Hsieh and most of its students (or maybe “students”) are from India. A few years ago it was accredited by a marginal accreditation agency, Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), in a stage-managed manner that drew a long, devastating article by BuzzFeed.
The headline for that story: “Inside the School that Abolished the F and Raked in Cash”
None of these derogatory facts about the place has made any impact on NPU’s continuing ability to cause the admission of thousands of lightly qualified foreign students a year. Homeland Security’s ability to wear blinders on the visa mill issue persists year after year.
Despite the tiny percentage of tuition actually spent on education at NPU, it is the second largest producer of Optional Practical Training alumni in the entire nation, following only the massive New York University, according to new government statistics.
The top five schools, in terms of the alumni in these subsidized jobs are: NYU, 6,199; NPU, 6,060; University of Southern California, 5,844; Columbia University, 5,590; and Northeastern University, 4,359. The four other than NPU are very large institutions with extensive foreign and domestic student populations and are in the mainstream of American higher education.
I wrote above “the government has revealed how much …” That revelation is not to be regarded as a bit of transparency. The raw data – with no dollar figures attached – was pried out of some Homeland Security statistics on the Optional Practical Training program, which never mentions the subsidies, the rewards to employers for hiring foreign, rather than resident (citizen or green card), college grads.
We then applied the known OPT subsidy formula (no payroll taxes for either these alumni or their employers for one to three years) to an assumption of $50,000 a year salaries for the grads of NPU to come up with the $48,000,000. (The combined payroll taxes for employers and workers amounts to about 15.90 percent of payroll.)
So: 6,060 x $50,000 x 15.9% = $48,177,000 a year, for NPU grads alone.
The DHS agency in charge, the sleepy Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), describes the population as “Students with OPT Authorization”, although nearly all of them are alumni, not students.