Joe Biden has once again launched another attack on the largest Christian college in the nation. This time, the Federal Trade Commission has alleged that the university has deployed “deceptive” advertising and engaged in illegal telemarketing.
The complaint, according to The New York Post, “says the Arizona-based school misled prospective doctoral students about the amount of time it would take to finish its accelerated program, deceptively marketed the school as a nonprofit, and illegally called prospective students who submitted their contact information on the school’s website but requested not to be contacted.”
This is the second time that the Biden administration has targeted the university.
Grand Canyon University (GCU) is the largest Christian university in the U.S. with over 100,000 students enrolled and over 85,000 online students as of fall 2022, according to their website. The FTC alleges that GCU engaged in deceptive business practices with its doctoral programs and that it also engaged in illegal telemarketing practices, according to the federal complaint filed in the District of Arizona, writes The Daily Caller
“Grand Canyon deceived students by holding itself out as a non-profit institution and misrepresenting the costs and number of courses required to earn doctoral degrees,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a Wednesday FTC press release. “We will continue to aggressively pursue those who seek to take advantage of students.”
GCU’s “marketing activities have also resulted in millions of abusive telemarketing calls to consumers who have specifically requested that Defendants not solicit them, and to individuals on the National Do Not Call Registry,” the lawsuit alleges.
The FTC also alleged that GCU misled potential doctoral students about the time required to finish the accelerated doctoral program and illegally called prospective student applicants who submitted contact information to the website but had requested not to be called, according to the complaint. GCU is accused of violating the FTC Act and Telemarketing Sales Rules and requested the U.S. District Court in Arizona to rule that GCU must pay prospective students for the alleged violations.
In October, New Conservative Post noted that “the dispute revolves around the Biden administration’s obsession with for-profit colleges. Earlier in the week, the Education Department finalized a regulation that cuts off federal student aid to vocational programs whose graduates consistently have high loan payments relative to their income. However, if you went to a traditional university, one that steers students towards Democrats, the White House will try to forgive your student loan.
The administration’s attack against Grand Canyon University goes back to 2018 when the university, then a for-profit school, switched to nonprofit status amid record enrollment. The university has become one of the largest Christian universities in the country.”
Inside Higher Ed reported at the time that “Grand Canyon University is alleging that three federal agencies have coordinated their investigations to “unjustly target” the institution for “political or ideological reasons we don’t understand.” It’s the latest development in a years-long dispute between the university and the Education Department over its bid to become a nonprofit.
The university says it is feeling attacked on several fronts, with multiple federal agencies or oversight bodies—including the Education Department, the Federal Trade Commission and a state arm of the Department of Veterans Affairs—questioning its practices.
In a lengthy statement posted on its website Thursday and also sent to media outlets, Grand Canyon officials provided detailed responses to those investigations or findings and outlined their own allegations that the agencies are retaliating against the university for its 2021 lawsuit against the Education Department.
Grand Canyon University President Brian Mueller told the Washington Examiner in an interview that the school has faced a flurry of investigations from three agencies in the years since it switched its IRS status. The investigations have centered on complaints typically made against for-profit institutions, namely that the school has misrepresented itself to students and has not sufficiently provided graduates with a return on their investment.”
“They started these investigations that were basically fishing expeditions,” Mueller told the newspaper. “They weren’t accusing us of anything specifically, but they were requesting thousands and thousands and thousands of files, documents, etc., and they looked for what they thought they could find.”
While being unrelenting in targeting Grand Canyon University and its mostly Christian student population, the White House has done little outside of releasing a statement in regard to the rising antisemitism happening on campuses like Harvard and Penn.