DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado’s attorney general is adding to its list of complaints in a lawsuit against a chain of private colleges along the Front Range. It’s suing College America over what is claimed to be advertising designed to mislead prospective students.
The state isn’t trying to shut down the colleges, but rather get them to stop what it claims are false advertisements that mislead students in one of the most important choices of their lives — where to attend college.
The attorney general has accused College America of using false and misleading advertising that includes figures on how much graduates might earn. The college has claimed in court documents it has done nothing wrong.
In a new filing the attorney general added to its list of allegations. It claims College America employees were instructed to hide information from accreditation teams, fabricate student files, and report erroneous graduate employment data.
College America denies it misled students to believe their credits were transferable to other institutions.
Vonda Lundstrom is now happily enrolled back at College America following a dispute over taking a leave for a family illness.
“I spent a lot of time crying because … I had tuition bills that I had to pay, or still paying; and with the type of credits we had, because it’s a private university, you can’t take those any place else,” Lundstrom said.
The attorney general claims other students told them the defense was “trying to twist my words” for affidavits, persuade them to adopt the defendant’s version of the facts, and even offered one unemployed graduate a job.
In a deposition for a student arbitration, former teacher and staff member Oohna Mankin testified recruiting students went too far.
“I want College America to stop misleading students, and it would probably be a good idea to not enroll homeless people who can’t even probably have breakfast let alone pay back a student loan,” Mankin said.
CBS4 made numerous attempts to speak to a College America representative on Monday, but did not hear back.
In prior court documents the college claims the state has failed to make its case and wants the suit dismissed. A hearing is scheduled next month.