American Career College faced alleged claims of fraud by its former students who state that the college kept their transportation, housing, and personal money without providing the services the funds were allotted for. The class action suit for consumer fraud was launched by hundreds of students who found out after the fact that their Federal Aid Program had paid the school directly for these costs but that American Career College never offered such services. This meant students had to fund their own transportation, housing, and associate costs even though their loans had paid for them.
The American Career College advertised its vocational nursing program, for example, as costing $33,950 but didn’t include a cost break down to the students. In reality, tuition was only $18,600 and the collect pocketed the other $15,000. When students received statements from their federal student loan programs they found that they had been allotted funds for housing, transportation, and personal expenses paid directly to the college but never received any of the services the funds covered.
The lawsuit for fraud, unfair business practices and conversion was filed against the American Career College with the claim that it intentionally targeted low-income students to gain these extra funds from federal loans. Students had been offered “help” filling out all of their paperwork and loan documents but instead of making their lives easier, the college lined their pockets and left students in a financial lurch. The Government Accounting Office revealed in undercover investigations that students without high school diplomas to qualify for the program, instead of being refused, were told the college would take care of it. Take care of it they did as the school lied about their educational programs in order to enroll them and get their hands on federal aid funds. Students unable to pass entrance exams were often told the answers for qualify tests or the tests were tampered with so students could enroll.
Student reviews for American Career College indicate that they did not get what they paid for. Instruction in the class involved insufficient materials, outdated materials, or instructors who could not teach. During externship, students often found out current practices did not even use many of the tools the program had trained with as they were so outdated. Many experienced harsh criticism by their placement and many were thrown out of operating rooms, dentist’s procedural rooms, or were told they were too slow and unequipped to work in the field. Upon graduation most students expecting job placement assistance found they had to find jobs themselves and ended up being accepted for minimum wage positions.
With many claiming their experience in the classroom was inadequate or lacked essential supplies, one has to wonder what the school did with all those extra funds they collected.