Grand Canyon University, the largest not-for-profit college, was recently fined $37.7 million by the U.S. Department of Education. The government accused the Phoenix, Arizona-based school of illegally paying incentives and kickbacks to its admissions counselors to encourage enrollment. GCU has grown rapidly over the last decade and has become the largest not-for-profit college in the country. They are particularly known for their online programs and their commitment to making higher education accessible to people from all walks of life. The fine is for violations of the Higher Education Act. The school allegedly rewarded their admissions counselors for enrolling certain classes of students. An internal investigation revealed that the school’s Admissions Department had been rewarding counselors for the number of students they brought in, rather than the quality of the applications or the ability of the students. This type of incentivized enrollment program is illegal in the United States. The Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation into Grand Canyon University. The investigation revealed that the school’s Admissions Department had been rewarding admissions counselors with cash rewards, vacation packages, and other incentives. The Department of Education’s report was clear that this type of incentive program was unacceptable. They noted that this type of incentive program was “unjustified and could lead to increased enrollment of students who may not have been adequately advised or prepared for collegiate-level coursework.” The fine is intended to serve not only as a deterrent, but also as a reminder that educational institutions must adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the Higher Education Act. In addition to the $37.7 million fine, Grand Canyon University will also be subject to increased oversight from the Department of Education. Grand Canyon University is just one of the many for-profit colleges and universities that have been in the spotlight in recent years. The Department of Education has made it clear that these types of incentive programs are not only illegal, but can lead to a decrease in the quality of education offered to students. It is important that educational institutions adhere to the established rules and regulations in order to ensure a high quality of education for all students.