Among the people streaming onto Baker College campuses early this fall were some new faces: federal investigators conducting an unusual review of the marketing and recruitment practices of the Michigan private college.
The investigators’ presence is the latest sign of precarious times at the nonprofit college. The U.S. Department of Education, whose investigation into Baker was made public in June, could penalize the college by jeopardizing its accreditation or access to federal student aid. At the same time, Baker’s finances are spiraling down: Revenue and enrollment have declined precipitously in the past decade. Its Michigan footprint has shrunk from nine traditional campuses to five.