Virginia College Fraud and Lawsuit Complaints
Virginia College is facing a lawsuit from seven of its students who claim that the school misrepresented the usefulness of its programs, duped its students, and has practices in place easily seen in its advertising which show it uses discriminatory advertising as a way to target specific groups. These students state the falsehoods presented by the school about job placement and accreditation also are used to commit fraud against their students and the federal government.
Alleged discriminatory advertising predominantly features African-Americans and females in addition to minority groups which violates the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. This targets those living in African-American communities in particular which the school allegedly goes out of its way to enroll to gain access to federal financial aid. A two-year course in medical administration costs approximately $35,000, making it well over double the cost at a non-profit school.
The school’s accreditation statements indicated it as being a recognized school, and in some ways it was. It did have the approval of accreditation boards which regulate requirements for medical programs. It wasn’t, however, complying with their regulations in the instructions to its students. One such course required that students complete a total of 10 finger stick blood draws and 30 regular blood draws in order to complete the program.
Students indicated that they had done only 1 finger stick and zero regular blood draws even though the school indicates that students will learn the required skills in class by using each other as the patient. This, according to former students, never happened. Virginia College then claimed that this wasn’t really a problem as externship would provide them the opportunity to learn the required skills and complete the requirements…on real patients. As far as the school is concerned, it’s higher than non-profit costs are well deserved for all the extra services it provides its students. Finding a student to tell you what those value-added services might be the hard part.
A quick look at the school’s advertisements lends credence to the claim that it has targeted specific groups in an effort to profit from specific demographics. Females and African-Americans appear twice as often as other individuals in both their website and other ad copy. The school indicates that advertisement is the responsibility of their marketer and that they were unaware of any specific demographic being targeted.
Lawsuits haven’t stopped the complaints and plenty appear on online message boards from current and former students. They indicate that they have been left buried in tens of thousands in debt, are unable to work, and have nothing to show for the effort they put into their education. All they are left with is loan statements and minimum wage jobs they struggle to survive on once they pay their loan payments…if they’re able to at all. Those who can’t are left with their loans in default, credit destroyed, and will spend the next couple of decades trying to crawl out from the unexpected present Virginia College left them with.
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