GAO targets Dallas schools in report on deceptive marketing
In testimony on Capitol Hill today, government officials named the 15 for-profit schools targeted in an investigation by the Government Accountability Office, which found that many schools engaged in federal fraud and deceptive marketing practices.
Three of the schools are located in Dallas, according to a report by Trace Urdan, an analyst at Signal Hill Capital Group in San Francisco. They are Westwood College, Everest College and ATI Career Training Center.
At Westwood College, which offers four-year degrees, an admissions representative told the government’s undercover applicant to lie about having $250,000 in savings and to claim nonexistent dependents in order to qualify for federal financial aid.
At Everest College, an employee guaranteed the undercover applicant that getting a degree would increase his salary. The applicant would also be required to make a monthly payment on student loans while enrolled, something the government does ask of student borrowers.
At ATI Career Training Center, an applicant was told he could not speak to a financial aid representative until he had signed and enrollment contract, and was told that his monthly loan payments would be lower than it actually would.
To watch video clips of the investigators posing as potential students, go to the GAO Web site.