The for-profit education company Salter College will provide over $1.6 million in debt relief and will wind down all of its Massachusetts operations by the end of the year.
Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey announced the settlement with the college and its parent company, Premier Education Group, over allegations of not providing students with information on the program’s job placement, loan repayment and graduation rates as required by state law.
The complaint also alleges the college of violating for-profit and occupational school regulations aimed at protecting Massachusetts students from deceptive and unfair practices. The regulations were promulgated by the attorney general’s office in 2014 and are the first of their kind in the U.S. which are designed to prevent for-profit school abuses.
“Salter College misled students and deprived them of the information they needed to make informed choices about their education,” Healey said in a statement. “This settlement will provide students the relief they deserve and stop this predatory for-profit school from doing business in our state.”
As a part of the settlement, the college will also pay $100,000 to the state and have its student credit reports wiped clean from negative reporting regarding the debts.
The college can no longer enroll students in any on-campus or online programs, and has been ordered to shut down all Massachusetts operations.
A recent report published by the Brookings Institution found that most online, for-profit institutions direct their marketing and recruiting strategies to promote programs in ways that mostly target vulnerable students and adversely affect students from low-income families and other minority groups.
Last month, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed a bill to protect students from predatory lending by requiring student loan lenders who do business in the commonwealth to register themselves. The bill also authorizes state officials to investigate lenders who commit prohibited acts.