- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for Online Business School Resolves Claims of Failing to Provide Program Disclosures, High Pressure Enrollment Tactics
Boston — Attorney General Maura Healey today announced a settlement with a for-profit online college based in Boston over allegations of failing to make proper disclosures of its programs for prospective students and engaging in excessive recruitment calls.
The assurance of discontinuance, filed Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court against the New England College of Business and Finance (NECB), alleges that it violated the state’s for-profit and occupational school regulations designed to curb deceptive and unfair practices and increase protections for prospective students.
Our regulations ensure that vocational schools, including online programs, make proper disclosures to students so they can make informed decisions about their education,” AG Healey said. “This settlement requires the New England College of Business to put these much-needed consumer protections in place.”
NECB offers online programs primarily in business, digital marketing, and international business. According to the AG’s settlement, the school failed make certain disclosures to consumers and prospective students at least 72 hours prior to entering into enrollment agreements. Under the AG’s regulations, both brick-and-mortar and online schools are required to disclose – in their advertisements, website and recruitment literature – accurate and readily comparable information about tuition and fees, employment statistics, graduation rates, and program completion time.
The AG’s Office also alleges that NECB initiated communication with prospective students in excess of what is allowed under the law. Schools are prohibited by state law from using high pressure sales tactics, including repeated solicitations through phone calls and text messages in excess of two times a week.
Under the terms of the settlement, NECB will pay $79,000 to cover investigative costs, relief to any prospective students harmed, and consumer education funding to be determined by the AG’s Office. NECB will also send out revised disclosures to its currently enrolled students and waive outstanding institutional debt owed by eligible students.
This matter was handled by Lilia DuBois and Glenn Kaplan of AG Healey’s Insurance and Financial Services Division.