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February 23, 2024

College of DuPage – Student Enrollment Grant Fraud/Manipulation?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On May 2, 2015

DuPage Co. (ECWd)

“We practice, and hope to inspire, integrity, honesty, respect, and responsibility in all of our interactions with students and members of the many communities we serve. Therefore. I am particularly pleased with the faculty’s choice to focus on ethics as the lens through which all learning and professional decision-making may be examined.”  -Robert Breuder (Grant application supporting documents page 57 of 61)

Considering he practices integrity, honesty, respect, and responsibility in all interactions with students and members of the communities served, according to his letter, lets apply his words and focus on ethics as the lens he referees to in professional decision making.

Considering student enrollment has been a big topic recently at COD and allegations of possible fraud or manipulation of credit hours I thought we would examine a couple grant applications to see what COD claims as it relates to enrollment.

As in any examination, we need to have a foundation to start from.  A foundation that we can only assume is accurate because those numbers being reported by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) only represent what those colleges tell them.

According to ICCB numbers found on page 28 of 77, there appears to be a problem! (Click here for ICCB Report)

  • ICCB – FY 2010 Head County Enrollment -50,336

Assuming the numbers provided to the ICCB are accurate, how is it that Breuder claims COD enrolled was 56,842 for that year?  (See page 4 of the Grant Application) 

  • “COD enrolled 56,842 students last year”  -Says Breuder April 11, 2011.  “Last year” referenced would be 2010

How does a misrepresentation of student enrollment numbers by over 6,500 cross with his claim of practicing integrity, honesty, respect, and responsibility in all of his interactions?

In another grant application that Breuder signed he claimed “COD serves approximately 31,000 highly diverse,traditional and non-traditional students each semester.  That was signed in April 11, 2011 (Click here and see page 9 of 61)

According to the ICCB, COD has NEVER served 31,000 each semester and only in 2004 could there enrollment be considered to be approximately 31,000 as that was their high ever at 30,954.  (Click here for ICB report see page 3 column for 2004)

In the year the Grant application was filled out, 2011, the ICCB spring semester enrollment was 27,037 and 26,209 for the fall semester (Click here for spring report and here for the fall report)

Is there anyone that believes fudging enrollment numbers by 3,963 and 4,791 is an ethical practice when your applying for Grant money?

I believe these two applications contain false information and would constitute grant fraud because COD knows what they submitted to the ICCB for those years and did not use those numbers on the applications. Instead the numbers were elevated much higher.  Note that this is only an example of two applications I looked at and interesting they were the first two! Many more to review! 

What constitutes Grant Fraud or Manipulation?

I suspect the authorities are going to want to issue yet another subpoena for records in order to review all the grant applications that claim false enrollment  numbers!


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