November 24, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 4.41.50 PM

For-Profit College Marketer Thrived By Posting Fake Ads To Popular Job Sites

 

Neutron Interactive, a Salt Lake City-based business, regularly posted fake job listings on popular job websites including Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com for the purpose of tricking job-seekers into visiting its own websites, according to former Neutron employees. These Neutron Interactive websites, still operating today, also promise jobs, but in reality they usually offer none; their real purpose, say these former employees, is to convince visitors — low-income people, single mothers, veterans, the elderly, all in desperate need of jobs — to provide their cell phone numbers, so marketers at other companies, which pay Neutron for the leads, can sell them overpriced for-profit college programs.

Neutron Interactive’s Continue Reading »

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November 13, 2014
SNAP

Still More Scam For-Profit College Websites – Linked to Dallas Mystery Man

I reported yesterday and this morning on scam websites that promise people help with jobs, food stamps, heat assistance, Medicaid — things that low-income and working Americans want — but the sites are really just fronts to get people’s phone numbers, so workers at a call center in Utah can pitch them on enrolling in overpriced, low-quality for-profit colleges.

Within 90 minutes after I posted my story yesterday, one of the sites I discussed, localemploymentnetwork.org, had been shut down. Perhaps just caution by its operators, or perhaps some concern about suggestions I made that the site’s owner, Neutron Interactive, and the …

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November 13, 2014
MedCareer1

More Scam Websites to Lure the Poor to For-Profit Colleges

Yesterday I reported on how a Utah-based company, Neutron Interactive, operated a website that promised jobs but was in reality a scam — it seemed to function mainly to send customer leads to at least one other company’s Salt Lake City call center, called EdSoup, whose only purpose, in turn, is to recruit people, mostly low-income people, to high-priced training programs at for-profit colleges. Similar sites promise food stamps, Medicaid, and heating assistance, but all lead to more pitches to sign up for expensive programs at the University of Phoenix, Brown Mackie, Colorado Tech, Kaplan, and other for-profits.  EdSoup …

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November 12, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 12.22.16 PM

Scam: Websites Promising Jobs And Medicaid Are Instead Bait for For-Profit College Telemarketers

A network of U.S. marketing companies run glossy websites promising jobs, health benefits, food stamps, and heating assistance, sites with names like localemploymentnetwork.org or medicaidinsurancebenefits.com. But according to former employees of a company connected to these operations, the real purpose of these sites is a classic bait-and-switch: to get low-income people, single mothers, veterans, and unemployed older people on the telephone and push them into high-cost for-profit college programs.

Based on the accounts of these employees, and documents they have provided to Republic Report, the operations may well be in violation of federal statutes prohibiting deceptive marketing and unwanted telephone sales calls, as well as Department of …

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November 7, 2014
Steve-Gunderson-President-CEO-APSCU

Entitled For-Profit Colleges File Meritless Suit to Block Obama Rule

On Thursday, November 6, the national trade association of for-profit colleges, APSCU, sued the Obama Administration in federal court in Washington DC to strike down the new 2014 “gainful employment” rule. The complaint repeats many of the claims from APSCU’s suit to strike down the 2011 gainful employment rule: that the U.S. Department of Education didn’t have the authority to issue such a rule; that the Department has not provided a reasoned basis for the rule; and that the rule is “unlawful, arbitrary, and irrational.” (The same day, the New York-based Association of Proprietary Colleges filed a separate suit to …

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September 15, 2014
billjohn

Bill Maher, John Oliver Slam Predatory For-Profit Colleges

In a single week, two of America’s best comedic truth-tellers — John Oliver and Bill Maher — hit hard against the predatory for-profit colleges that rip off taxpayers and ruin students’ lives.

On his HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver attacked these profit-making colleges for their sky-high prices, meager spending on instruction, and deceptive and coercive recruiting tactics, including the enrollment of soldiers who had brain injuries and couldn’t even name the courses they’d signed up for. Oliver added, “I will say this for for-profit colleges: They’ve just given us all a first-class education in the depths of human depravity.” Oliver noted that …

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September 10, 2014
gunderson3

APSCU, Chamber Sought to Stack Rulemaking Panel With Execs From Troubled For-Profit Colleges

The main lobbying group for America’s for-profit colleges, APSCU, proposed last year to stock the Department of Education’s 28-member negotiated rule-making panel on the crucial “gainful employment” rule with 11 nominees, nine of whom were executives at APSCU-member for-profit college companies, including multiple companies now under investigation by law enforcement. Correspondence obtained from the education department by Republic Report under the Freedom of Information Act shows that APSCU CEO Steve Gunderson, in a 12-page letter dated July 12, 2013, denounced the regulatory process and demanded that the Department halt it, but nevertheless proposed a slate of nominees for the panel, including executives …

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June 30, 2014
gunderson

For-Profit College Group APSCU Has Consistently Harbored Fraudulent Schools

I mailed this letter today to Mr. Arthur E. Benjamin, Vice Chair, American Institutes Holdings LLC; Mr. Donald E. Graham, Chairman and CEO, Graham Holdings Company; and Mr. Steve Gunderson, President and CEO, Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.

Dear Mr. Benjamin, Mr. Graham, and Mr. Gunderson:

I am writing regarding the career college sector and the gainful employment rule. The Obama administration’s proposed rule, implementing a congressional requirement, would, eventually, remove federal student aid from some career education programs that consistently leave their students with debt they cannot afford to repay.

Companies …Continue Reading »

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