A judge ruled that the Minnesota School of Business and Globe University both have to pay back students who were defrauded. Over 1,200 students should get money back for their tuition.
The schools were sued by the state’s attorney general. She said that they misled students when talking about the job opportunities they would have after they graduated. The case went to court and the court sided with the attorney general, saying that both schools had used deceptive trade practices and committed consumer fraud.
It is worth noting that the only program linked to fraud was the criminal justice program. Even so, it was enough for the U.S. Department of Education to stop sending any federal financial aid. Both schools are considered for-profit institutions.
An appeal is possible, as both institutions do not agree with the ruling. A statement claimed that the entire decision had been made with the testimony of merely 16 different students. It also noted that only the criminal justice program had even been implicated, and that just 4 percent of the students at the schools were in that program. Additionally, criminal justice had been cancelled and had not been part of the course options, the schools claimed, for over two years.
It can be hard to land jobs right out of college, and students are often stuck with a lot of debt from loans almost as soon as they graduate. In a competitive job market, things get even harder if fraud was used to lure students in by falsely representing that market. This story shows why it’s important for students to remember that their degrees are just products that they are purchasing, and so they do have legal options when those products are advertised inaccurately.
Source: Inside Higher Ed, “Two For-Profits Must Pay Restitution to Students,” Paul Fain, Jan. 05, 2017