California attorney general sues for-profit Bridgepoint Education

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Ashford University, a for-profit chain, and parent company Bridgepoint Education, accusing it of engaging in unlawful marketing, sales and debt collection practices.

“Ashford University preyed on veterans and people of modest means. This for-profit college illegally misled students about their educational prospects and unfairly saddled them with debt,” Becerra said. “College is too pivotal and precious to let a predatory for-profit company swindle our daughters and sons out of the higher education they’ll need to get ahead.”

To enroll prospective students, Ashford employees allegedly misled them about the cost of attending, their eligibility for federal loans and grants and the timing of financial aid and the use of that funding, according to the complaint. Prosecutors say the university pressured its admissions counselors to hit high enrollment goals under the threat of dismissal and fostered a sales culture that resulted in misconduct.

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