BOSTON —For-profit education company Bay State College, Inc. (Bay State) will provide $1.1 million in relief to hundreds of former students to resolve allegations that the school violated the Attorney General’s For-Profit School Regulations, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
The assurance of discontinuance (LINK), filed this week in Suffolk Superior Court, alleges that the school failed to provide some students with disclosures as required by state regulations, engaged in illegal telemarketing practices, and used inaccurate job placement figures for certain programs.
“Our for-profit regulations protect students and ensure that schools are transparent about what they offer and about job placement figures, so that students can make informed choices about their education,” said AG Healey. “This settlement will provide hundreds of Bay State students who were harmed by the school’s alleged practices with much needed relief.”
Bay State is a private for-profit, post-secondary educational institution with its principal place of business in Boston. The school offers degrees in a variety of fields, including Criminal Justice, Information Technology, Fashion Merchandising and Entertainment Management. Bay State’s alleged actions were taken under previous ownership.
An investigation by the AG’s Office revealed that between March 2016 and November 8, 2017, Bay State failed to consistently comply with the AG’s For-Profit School Regulations. Specifically, the AG’s Office alleges that Bay State failed to make certain disclosures to prospective students, at least 72 hours prior to entering into an enrollment agreement, as required by state regulations. Bay State also violated a regulation that prohibits it from contacting prospectice students, prior to enrollment, more than twice in a seven-day period. The school failed to provide prospective students accurate job placement rates as required under the AG’s regulations.
Under the terms of this settlement, Bay State will pay a total of $700,000 to the AG’s Office to provide relief to eligible Bay State students and will discharge approximately $400,000 in debts that certain students owe to the school. Students who are eligible for discharges or relief will be contacted by the AG’s Office.
Addressing fraud and abuse in the for-profit school and student lending industry has been a top priority for AG Healey since taking office, whether taking predatory schools to court, changing the practices of student loan servicers, going after unlawful student loan “debt relief” companies, or helping student borrowers find more affordable repayment solutions through her first-in-the-nation Student Loan Assistance Unit. Massachusetts residents who need help are urged to contact the Attorney General’s Student Loan Assistance Unit at 1-888-830-6277.
The Bay State case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Lilia DuBois and Paralegal Jessica Nario, of Attorney General Healey’s Insurance and Financial Services Division.