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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October 30, 2014
empty classroom

New gainful employment rule is weak, but predatory for-profit colleges remain on the ropes

The Obama Administration is releasing its “gainful employment” rule, aimed at curbing abuses by federally-funded career colleges, at 7 am Thursday.  I can’t fully evaluate the rule without seeing its details. But I have obtained a press release and fact sheet provided by the Administration to the media and also spoken to Administration and other sources, and I have this to report: UPDATE [Oct. 30 11:00 am]: I’ve read the rule, and my views remain the same]

1. The rule is far too weak to address the grave misconduct of predatory for-profit colleges.  The Administration missed an opportunity to issue …

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October 27, 2014
hrc

2014 Campaign Shows Growing Public Disdain for Predatory For-Profit Colleges

In the 2o12 election campaign, when a reporter asked GOP candidate Mitt Romney what he planned to do about higher education and college affordability, Romney praised for-profit colleges, and particularly one school, Florida’s Full Sail University, for its ability to “hold down the cost of their education.” It was eventually exposed that: (1) Full Sail was perhaps the third most expensive college in America, (2) Full Sail’s owners were heavy contributors to the Romney campaign, and (3) Romney’s own private equity firm was actually invested in Full Sail.  But whatever Romney’s motives in singling out this sector, it was notable that …

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October 22, 2014
obamaafford

As For-Profit Colleges Fight For Their Right to Abuse Students, It’s Obama’s Time To Decide

The Obama Administration is scheduled to issue, within the next few weeks, a regulation called the gainful employment rule, aimed at cutting off federal student aid to college-level career training programs that consistently leave their students drowning in debt. Lobbyists for the for-profit college industry are pressing the White House hard to weaken the rule or drop it altogether. It’s a critical moment for the public to take another close look at this industry, which now has 13 percent of all U.S. college students and swallows more than a quarter of federal aid — over $30 billion a year in taxpayer …

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