Guest post: Kentucky AG takes on Spencerian College

SDEJ is proud to present a series of guest posts by our research fellow, Avie Zhao.  Avie is a 3L at American University Washington College of Law, where she is a member of the Business Law Review.  She is interested in business litigation, and is currently serving as a student attorney with DC Law Students in Court where she represents indigent clients in DC Superior Court.

For the next three weeks, she will highlight some of the actions state attorneys general are taking against for-profit colleges.  These actions situate higher education squarely within the realm of consumer law, a frame that raises fascinating questions about whether better information will lead to better outcomes for students.

Commonwealth of KY v. Sullivan d/b/a/ Spencerian College

Jack Conway, Attorney General of Kentucky and leader of a national bipartisan effort into examining abuses by for-profit colleges, is now investigating Spencerian College.  In January, 2013, Conway’s office brought a consumer-protection lawsuit against Sullivan University System, Inc., the parent company of Spencerian College.  The complaint alleges that Spencerian College knowingly provided false and misleading data regarding the percentage of students who were able to obtain employment.  Spencerian allegedly inflated the employment rates of graduates by as much as 40 % in its publications and on its website.  The complaint seeks injunctive relief, civil penalties, and recovery of investigative costs.

This lawsuit against Spencerian College marks the fourth lawsuit against for-profit colleges filed by Attorney General Conway’s office.  Previously, Attorney General Conway’s office has filed civil lawsuits against Daymar College, National College, and Education Management Corp. (parent company of Brown Mackie College).