On January 2, 2019, 49 state attorneys general reached a settlement with an Illinois-based for-profit education company, securing approximately $493.7 million in debt relief for over 179,000 students nationwide. The settlement is the result of a five-year investigation, which began in 2014 after states received complaints from students and the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee released a report on the company.
According to the attorneys general, the investigation revealed that the company pressured students to enroll in its schools using emotionally charged language and deceived students about the total costs of enrollment, transferability of credits, and potential for employment, in violation of various states’ consumer protection laws.
Under the terms of the settlement, the company will forgo efforts to collect amounts owed by former students living in the states participating in the agreement. The company will also make a $5 million payment to the participating states and agreed to cease the unfair and deceptive practices described above.