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Not

Not

Reported

Reported

Students

receiving

receiving

federal

Pell Grantsa

loansa

College information and degree sought

8

FL - 2-year, owned by publicly traded company

Associate’s Degree – Criminal Justice

Students

Encouragement of fraud, and engagement in deceptive, or otherwise questionable behavior

Scenario 1

x

Admissions representative falsely stated that the college was accredited by the same agency that accredits Harvard and the University of Florida.

x

A test proctor sat in the test taking room with the undercover applicant and coached her during the test.

x

The undercover applicant was not allowed to speak to a financial aid representative until she enrolled in the college.

x

Applicant had to sign agreement saying she would pay $50 per month toward her education while enrolled in college.

x

On paying back loans, the representative said, “You gotta look at it…I owe $85,000 to the University of Florida. Will I pay it back? Probably not…I look at life as tomorrow’s never promised….Education is an investment, you’re going to get paid back ten-fold, no matter what.”

x

Admissions representative suggested undercover applicant switch from criminal justice to the medical assistant certificate, where she could make up to $68,000 per year. While this may be possible, BLS reports 90% of medical assistants make less than $40,000 per year.

Graduation ratea

Not Reported

Scenario 2

x

When the applicant asked about financial aid, the 2 representatives would not answer but debated with him about his commitment level for the next 30 minutes.

x

The representative first told the undercover applicant the program would take 18 months to complete. He later said it would take 2 years to complete. He said that student loans would absolutely cover all costs in this 2-year program. However, to pay for the program, the undercover applicant would need to 1) acquire federal student loans for 3 years, or 2) acquire private loans or pay some out of pocket to complete the program in less than 3 years.

x

The representative said paying back loans should not be a concern because once he had his new job, repayment would not be an issue.

x

The representatives used hard-sell marketing techniques; they became argumentative, called applicant afraid, and scolded applicant for not wanting to take out loans.

Page 23

GAO-10-948T

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