DENVER (CN) – Westwood College will pay $4.5 million to settle the Colorado attorney general’s lawsuit accusing the profit-seeking school of luring students with false claims about tuition, job prospects and other things.
Westwood operates online and in six states.
Attorney General John Suthers sued Westwood and a slew of its subsidiaries: Alta Colleges, Trav Corp., Elbert Inc., El Nell Inc., Grant Corp., and Wesgray Corp., all dba Westwood College, in Denver County Court.
The state sought restitution for students, an injunction and damages for deceptive trade and eight other charges.
The Denver Post reported this week that Westwood settled the state’s complaint for $4.5 million, but added: “The college hasn’t acknowledged any of the claims.”
Colorado claimed Westwood misrepresented its graduation rate, categorized graduates who worked “freelance” as successfully placed in jobs, and used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to inflate the salaries of its graduates.
It also lied about the transferability of credits, and did not inform military students that their military benefits would not cover the cost of Westwood tuition, the state claimed.
Westwood, which operates 17 campuses in Colorado, California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Virginia, also enrolled students in financing programs without their knowledge and misled students about the total cost of tuition, the state said.
The college must submit to monitoring by the state and reform itself, under the settlement.