U.S. Cracks Down on 'Pay to Play' for 'Military-Friendly' Colleges

The Federal Trade Commission announced a proposed settlement with a Victory Media website whose "military-friendly" rankings of colleges and universities allegedly promoted institutions that paid to be included, reports Inside Higher Ed.

Victory Media runs several magazines and websites targeting military service members and their families and operates a tool and rankings to assist prospective students in finding a postsecondary program. But the FTC found that those tools functioned as paid advertisements for institutions.

Under the settlement, which is open to public comment for 30 days, Victory must disclose to readers that its rankings are paid endorsements. No penalty was included, but a violation could require a fine of $40,654, Inside Higher Ed reported.

The FTC will decide whether to finalize the settlement on November 20.


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