State Sues Two For-Profit Colleges

Created: 07/22/2014 11:07 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- On Tuesday, the Minnesota attorney general filed a lawsuit against two for-profit colleges, saying school officials exploited students, leaving them with tremendous debt.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed the suit against the Minnesota School of Business and Globe University seeking damages for students who she claims were misled.

Swanson said officials at the two for-profit schools, which are owned by the same company, did not give students accurate information about their ability to transfer credits, and said the criminal justice program in particular made false claims about job opportunities without offering the proper certification.

The schools responded with a statement, calling the lawsuit "unnecessary," saying it "only serves to injure the interests of our students," and saying that the claims made "could not be further from the truth."

One student at the school's Rochester campus said she was shocked by the allegations.

"I'm kind of surprised because I've heard from a lot of people that this is a really great college to go to,” said Kelli Hendrickson, who is working toward a degree in business administration. “I've never really heard anything bad, so it's kind of surprising to me."

But others who wrote on the KAAL ABC 6 Facebook page had a different perspective, with many sharing stories of overwhelming debt and empty job promises.

The lawsuit was actually spurred by students who wrote to Attorney General Swanson about their experiences, and they said they hoped to improve things not only for themselves, but for students everywhere.

"I just wanted help,” said student Dylan Zerwas. “I just wanted to fix the situation, and anyone else who was having trouble with this, well, there's a lot of people."

"There's so much stuff that my son wants and I can't give him because I'm so in debt," said former student Elisha Claiborne.

The Minnesota School of Business and Globe University have 20 campuses across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

According to the attorney general, tuition for the criminal justice program costs around $35,000 for an associate’s degree and around $70,000 for a bachelor's degree.