DENVER (CBS4) – After CBS4 reported on a lawsuit filed against College America by Colorado’s attorney general more former students have come forward with complaints about the school.
After a 2-year investigation the attorney general alleges in the lawsuit that College America deceived, misled and financially injured consumers in Colorado. It now wants restitution and fines.
The lawsuit claims College America deceptively markets the outcomes of their degree programs.
“On average college graduates make $1,400 more a month than people without a degree,” a College America TV commercial states.
The state claims students are enticed with promises of high paying jobs and financial aid.
Celesta Manspeaker signed up after she said College America promised her scholarships, which she said she never received.
She told CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger she hasn’t paid for anything yet and owes approximately $45,000.
While Manspeaker was a student at the Denver College America campus she said she learned she was suffering from cancer and asked College America to put her education on pause.
“I said, ‘I’m not physically capable of working and going to school.’ And, ‘Can I put this on hold while I fight my cancer?’ ” Manspeaker said.
She said she was told she had to continue her education or pay the tuition back immediately. The school cites Department of Education rules that require withdrawal after 14 days of absence.
Manspeaker continued studying from home in networking and computer science and got an associate’s degree, which she said hasn’t helped her get a better job.
The attorney general says College America has represented customer service jobs at Walmart, courtesy clerks at King Soopers and working as crew members at McDonald’s as graduates working in their field.
Anthony Moreno taught computer courses at College America for several years.
“They have to have to have a certain job placement rate for students that leave the program as well,” Moreno said.
But there are those who praise the college.
“Having the school behind me and supporting me and getting my education is what started opening doors so that I could get into the accounting and bookkeeping fields,” College America graduate Rocky Brophy said.
College America has filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit, stating the allegations are a litter of distorted statistics and cherry-picked anecdotes.