Chester Career College, a for-profit college in Richmond, Va., has agreed to pay $5 million in a class-action settlement filed by eight former students who said the training they received was a sham. The agreement, which has been approved in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, settles claims that the college, formerly known as Richmond School of Health and Technology, targeted minorities for enrollment and did not provide them an adequate education. The complaint, filed in 2011, also estimated that the college has received approximately $5 million a year in federal student loan programs. The sad truth is actually that in effect the federal government funded the school’s scheme. More than 4,000 former students may be eligible to receive funds from the settlement, according to reports.
In addition to $5 million in monetary relief, the settlement provides for continued reporting by the School regarding its students’ success and career placement. These measures will improve and strengthen the School as it continues its mission of educating, graduating and assisting in the employment of hundreds of students in various medical fields in and around Richmond. A website for the college provides program information for several health-related fields, including nursing, radiology and medical billing.
The complaint described a pattern of behavior in which the college encourages students to take out federal loans, and then fails to provide adequate training. The college advertised on the BET (Black Entertainment Television) channel and other programming that reaches predominantly African-American audiences. Sade Battle, one of the eight lead Plaintiffs, said she was talked into joining a program for community home health care workers, but was never taught basic skills such as how to change catheters and make beds. She eventually withdrew from the program and later defaulted on her loans. The court awarded her $10,000 plus reimbursement of more than $16,000 to cover loans and other expenses.
It was reported that a number of former employees said the school engaged in “dishonest” and “fraudulent” practices. For example, one instructor described practices such as “falsifying loan applications and changing grades to keep failing students in school.” A 2012 Senate investigation found similar practices across the for-profit education industry, costing taxpayers more than $30 billion. That investigation found for-profit colleges educate about 10 percent of college students and account for nearly half of student-loan defaults. That’s not a good ratio and those schools must be held accountable. John Relman, a lawyer with Relman, Dane & Colfax, based in Washington, D.C., represented the plaintiffs in the case and he did a very good job.
Source: USA Today
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.