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Massachusetts Sues ITT Tech, Alleges Students Mislead With Sales Pitch

Image: Massachusetts Sues ITT Tech, Alleges Students Mislead With Sales Pitch
ITT Technical Institute Canton, Michigan campus, 1905 South Haggerty Road (Dwight Burdette/Wikimedia Commons)

By    |   Wednesday, 06 Apr 2016 11:12 AM

Massachusetts sued ITT Tech this week, alleging the school engaged in unfair and harassing sales tactics that misled students.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed the lawsuit Thursday and issued a news release Monday.

“These students were exploited and pressured to enroll with the promise of great careers and high salaries, but were instead left unable to repay their loans and support their families," it read.

"Our office has a history of going after predatory for-profit schools and will not stand for students in Massachusetts being treated simply as a source of income. We will continue to investigate and act against these deceptive practices and work hard to get the relief these students deserve.”

The school has two campuses in Massachusetts, and its Computer Network Systems program is the largest program at each campus.

School officials told prospective students that between 80 percent and 100 percent of graduates get jobs in their field or a related field, but actual placement is 50 percent or less, the news release noted. It added that ITT’s placement rates were inflated by those with jobs outside of their field, internships, and short-term jobs.

The lawsuit, which seeks penalties as well as the return of tuition and fees to eligible students, also alleges that ITT's admissions representatives were publicly shamed or fired for not meeting quotas, prospective students were pressured to enroll regardless of whether they were likely to succeed in the program, and that school officials steered students to expensive, private loans that they were unable to afford.

ITT officials are “disappointed” in the lawsuit, calling it part of a “wide-ranging fishing expedition,” according to a statement cited by The Huffington Post.

“Although ITT/ESI cooperated fully in the investigation, and presented evidence that its conduct was lawful, the Attorney General’s Office has suddenly elected litigation over working with ITT/ESI to address any legitimate concerns it might have about ITT/ESI’s practices,” the statement said.

ITT has 130 campuses with about 50,000 students in 38 states. It received $664 million in taxpayer money from federal student grants and loans last year, The Huffington Post reported. The school also faces lawsuits from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the New Mexico Attorney General.

Healey also has pending litigation against Corinthian Colleges and American Career Institute and has reached settlements with Kaplan Career Institute, Lincoln Tech, Sullivan & Cogliano, and Salter College.

Twitter users had mixed reactions to the allegations.







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Massachusetts sued ITT Tech this week, alleging the school engaged in unfair and harassing sales tactics that misled students.
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2016-12-06
Wednesday, 06 Apr 2016 11:12 AM
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