by: Scott Wickersham Updated:WASHINGTON —
For-profit colleges are paying millions of dollars for accusations they tricked Army veterans into signing up for programs they did not need and allegedly cashing in on the GI Bill.
The $2.5 million settlement was announced in Washington Wednesday morning and centers around the website GIBill.com.
A California company called Quin Street is behind the military-themed website. It is accused of giving veterans the impression that it is owned or endorsed by the military. The company is also accused of making the schools listed on the site look like they were the only schools where veterans can used their educational benefits.
All of the schools listed on the site were for-profit colleges.
North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan said she’s glad a Senate investigation is leading to changes.
“I’m so pleased today that the U.S. Attorney General is including Roy Cooper and North Carolina as part of this settlement to take away that GI domain and have the Veterans Affairs utilize that,” she said.
A Quin Street representative said he did not consider the website misleading, but did say the company reached the settlement to provide greater clarity.
The company now has to turn over the website to the government,
The $2.5 million settlement is being split between 20 states, including both Carolinas, involved in the fight.
Hagan is also gaining support for a bill to limit how for-profit colleges can use federal funding. She said too much of the money is going toward marketing.
Hagan started working on the bill after an investigation into allegation of deception at Kaplan College in Charlotte.