Florida College Investigations

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has announced that it will expand its investigation from 5 to 8 for profit colleges operating in Florida. Initially, the AG’s office said it would investigate five schools including Everest University, Kaplan University, Medvance Institute, Argosy, and the University of Phoenix. The three new schools that will be investigated are Keiser University, Concorde Career Colleges, and Sanford-Brown Institute.
The Florida AG probe began after the federal government’s Government Accounting Office went undercover to investigate complaints about the schools’ marketing practices, financial aid packages, and their recruiting practices.
If any of the school’s are found to be in violation of Florida’s consumer protection laws, they face fines of up to $10,000 per infraction. In addition to the state fines, the schools face possible action concerning the student loans offered to students by the federal government. In one video excerpt of the GAO investigation, the recording reveals a Medvance Institute recruiter telling a prospective student not to worry about paying back the student loans. “It’s not like a car note, where if you don’t pay they’re gonna come after you,” the recruiter told the unsuspecting student.
The investigation may jeopardize the school’s ability to obtain federal and state grant money as well as offer student loans. According to the St. Pete Times, “At stake is billions of dollars in federal student aid — $20 billion in loans last year, plus another $4 billion in Pell grants for low-income students. That’s about a quarter of all federal aid to college students.
In Florida, for-profit schools also receive state money from students with Bright Futures scholarships. Last year, for-profits received $2.7 million through Bright Futures, with more than $571,000 going to the eight schools under investigation.”