Salt Lake City, UT: A class action lawsuit filed in Salt Lake City, Utah alleges that Everest College systematically lures potential students into its programs with misleading information about the school's accreditation, transferability of credits, and cost. Everest is one of the brands used by for-profit education company Corinthian Colleges, Inc., which is named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Corinthian operates approximately 100 Everest campuses around the country, and also operates Everest University Online.
The lawsuit alleges two primary forms of wrongdoing by Everest. First, it alleges that Everest makes misrepresentations to potential students about whether credits or degrees earned at Everest can be transferred to other post-secondary universities and community colleges, and, even though it informs potential students that it is "accredited," fails to disclose that the type of "accreditation" Everest has is not generally recognized by other post-secondary institutions. The lawsuit alleges that Everest "admissions counselors" lied to prospective students about whether credits earned at Everest would be accepted for transfer to non-profit or public universities in Utah. The result is that students who had hoped to use the Everest programs as a "stepping stone" to a degree from a non-profit or public university discovered, after incurring tens-of-thousands of dollars in debt, that their time and money had been wasted.
Second, the lawsuit alleges that Everest makes misrepresentations and omissions about the cost of its programs. The complaint in the lawsuit details how prospective students are lured into one-on-one meetings with "admissions counselors" who provide the prospective students with cost "estimates." However, Everest then has the students apply for student loans -- which are dispersed directly to Everest -- far in excess of those estimates.
The lawsuit was brought by three former students of Everest's Salt Lake City campus, and alleges claims for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and violation of Utah's Consumer Sales Practices Act.