The following is a press release from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office submitted to SOURCE media
BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has secured $89,000 in payments to students from an online for-profit school offering coding bootcamps to resolve allegations that the school used high pressure enrollment tactics and failed to provide proper disclosures about the program, in violation of the AG’s For-Profit School Regulations.
The Assurance of Discontinuance, filed on Monday in Suffolk Superior Court against Flatiron School LLC (“Flatiron”), alleges that between March 2016 and February 2020, Flatiron violated the state’s for-profit and occupational school regulations designed to curb deceptive and unfair practices and increase protections for prospective students. Under the terms of the settlement, Flatiron will pay $89,000, which will provide relief to students harmed by the school’s alleged illegal practices.
“We have strong regulations in place to protect students from abusive and deceptive practices by for-profit schools,” said Healey. “Students looking to make informed decisions about their education should not be met with high pressure enrollment tactics and inadequate information about programs. We are pleased that with this settlement, students harmed will receive some relief.”
Flatiron is a private for-profit educational institution offering online and on-campus training programs like Software Engineering and Data Science, although they do not have a physical location in Massachusetts. “Coding bootcamps” are intensive coding programs, usually lasting 9-12 weeks, which help students looking for a career in web development.
According to the AG’s settlement, Flatiron failed to 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.
Flatiron is the most recent online bootcamp to be held to account for violations of the AG’s for-profit school regulations.
Previously, the AG’s Office settled with the StartUp Institute, recovering over $300,000 in relief for students harmed by the company’s alleged unfair and deceptive practices.
Addressing fraud and abuse in for-profit school and student lending industry has been a top priority for AG Healey since taking office.
The AG’s Office has taken predatory schools to court, changed the practices of student loan servicers, gone after unlawful student loan “debt relief” companies, and helped student borrowers find more affordable repayment solutions through AG Healey’s first-in-the-nation Student Loan Assistance Unit.
Massachusetts students who are looking for help or information should call the AG’s Student Loan Assistance Unit Helpline at 1-888-830-6277.
The Flatiron investigation and settlement was handled by Lilia DuBois and Andrew Labadini of AG Healey’s Insurance and Financial Services Division.