The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs ("DCA") sued Berkeley College, one of the largest for-profit colleges in New York State, alleging that the school misled consumers about financial aid, graduation rates, and other issues.
DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas said, "These aggressive recruiting tactics are designed to prey on the hopes and dreams of consumers seeking improved career prospects and greater financial security to better care for themselves and their families."
DCA alleged that Berkeley made misrepresentations about how federal student loans work, about getting institutional grants, about employment prospects and transfer credits, and other issues. For example, the DCA alleged that one school recruiter told an undercover DCA inspector that Berkeley's graduation rate is 96%, when it reality it is only 29%.
This case is just another example of how federal, state, and local regulators are looking more closely at the marketing practices of for-profit schools. Just last month, the FTC brought a case involving alleged deceptive lead generation practices.
"Students attend college to pursue their education -- not to get ripped off," said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson