Mass. Sues For-Profit School for False Marketing

Friday, April 5, 2013

A for-profit school offered so little training that students who paid hefty fees to train as medical assistants never learned how to use a stethoscope, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by prosecutors in Massachusetts.

The complaint filed in Plymouth Superior Court accuses Brockton-based Sullivan and Cogliano Training Centers Inc. of “grossly misrepresenting the quality and scope of education” and distorting job placement numbers while leaving students with deep debt and poor job prospects.

Coakley pointed to the school’s portrayal of training for medical assistants as false advertising.

“School advertisements featured women wearing medical scrubs and holding stethoscopes and medical charts, but the school never offered that type of clinical instruction, such as how to use a stethoscope or chart a patient’s medical care,” Coakley said.

Coakley said a growing number for-profit schools nationwide spend a large percentage of their revenues on marketing that targets students from low-income families and veterans eligible for generous federal student loans. The expensive courses and poor instruction ultimately leave students unable to find suitable jobs and default on those loans, she said.

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