Investigation Begins on Trump’s For-Profit School

Donald Trump’s for-profit school, which charges students up to $35,000 a course, is under investigation by the New York State attorney general’s office on suspicion that it has engaged in illegal business practices, according to an article posted in The New York Times. The investigation was brought to light by about a dozen complaints concerning the school, which the attorney general has found to be "credible" and "serious", the article further stated. Because the investigation has not yet gone public, people have been speaking on the condition of anonymity when briefing on the inquiries and the investigation.

The inquiry is part of a larger investigation by the attorney general’s office, which is beginning investigations into at least five other for-profit education companies that operate or have students in the state. The investigation is the latest known problem for the formally known Trump University, which is six years old, and has already faced a string of complaints in the past. The investigation is aiming to figure out whether the schools recruiters really help students to find jobs, the quality of the education, the cost of attending the university, and accreditation of the programs, amongst other issues. The managing director of the Trump Organization has acknowledged receiving a subpoena and the investigation by the attorney general’s office and claims they will do what they need to do to resolve the matter with their full cooperation.

The other companies mentioned in the inquiry include Career Education Corporation, which runs the Sanford-Brown Institute, Briarcliffe College and American InterContinental University; Corinthian Colleges, which is the parent company of Everest Institute, WyoTech and Heald Colleges; Lincoln Educational Services, which is the owner of Lincoln Technical and Lincoln Colleges Online; and Bridgepoint Education, which is the operator of Ashford University, the article goes on to state. While spokesman for three of the companies said they would comply with requests sent from the attorney general’s office, a representative for Career Education Corporation declined to comment on the matter.

As for-profit schools have become more popular in recent years, some of those schools have been accused of creating more economic harm than help, with students reportedly falling back into debt to pay for classes that didn’t keep up with their promises. Trump’s school, which he aggressively marketed, was able to charge premium prices, with costs ranging between $1,500 to $35,000 each course, because of the Trump name. But with dozens of complaints about the quality of their program from students in New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois, the Better Business Bureau gave the school a D-minus for the 2010 year. Four former students have also filed complaints in federal court against the university claiming it uses high- pressure tactics with big promises of one-on-one instruction to get students to enroll in costly classes that did not keep with their promises.

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