Report: Coakley broadening investigation into for-profit colleges

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) -- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is reportedly expanding her current investigation into for-profit colleges and trade schools. The Boston Globe reported Monday that Coakley -- who started looking into the issue nearly two years ago -- is now investigating whether a group of colleges and schools in her state misled prospective students about costs, the odds of graduating and finding employment. "The more we look, the more we see it as a real problem," the attorney general told the Globe. Coakley compared the issue to the jump in subprime mortgages during the housing boom, telling the newspaper that it has potential to be a "predatory business." There are more than 100 for-profit schools in Massachusetts, and thousands nationwide. And Coakley isn't the only state attorney general concerned about the growing industry. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, who also is heading up an investigation by a group of 30 attorneys general, just last month filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Spencerian College over allegations that it misrepresented job placement numbers. The for-profit college, owned by the Sullivan University System, has two campuses in the state -- one in Lexington and a second in Louisville. The suit is the fourth of its kind Conway has filed as part of his own ongoing investigation into the for-profit college industry. The third, and most recent, was filed in 2011 against National College of Kentucky Inc. From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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