FTC threatens hefty penalties against for-profit colleges for false claims, warning 70 schools - Rick Seltzer, HigherEd Dive

The Federal Trade Commission is targeting false claims made by for-profit colleges by renewing its use of a legal authority that allows it to seek civil penalties against companies that engage in practices they knew were unfair or deceptive. The agency sent notices to the 70 largest for-profit schools in the country under its Penalty Offense Authority, it said Wednesday. Those notices outline practices the FTC has deemed unfair or deceptive, laying the groundwork for violators to have to pay as much as $43,792 per transgression. Additional colleges could receive notices going forward. It's also possible the FTC could crack down on institutions that haven't received any notices if the agency can prove they had "actual knowledge" the FTC condemned certain practices, said Samuel Levine, director of the agency's Bureau of Consumer Protection, during a virtual press conference.

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