Miyares announces $30 million in relief for illegal student lending practices

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced that student lender Prehired will be required to provide over $30 million in relief to student borrowers for making false promises of job placement, trapping students with “income share” loans that are against the law, and abusive collection practices.

The order was approved by a federal court and requires the company to cease operations, pay $4.2 million in redress to affected customers, and void all income share loans totaled at $27 million.

Prehired was based in Delaware and operated a 12-week online training program which claimed to prepare students for entry-level software sales roles with “six figure salaries” and a “job guarantee.”

The company also offered students income share loans to finance the costs of the program.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 10 additional states joined Miyares in the lawsuit in July earlier this year.

The lawsuit alleges borrowers were deceived by claiming its loans were not loans, kept borrowers in the dark about key information, tricked students with deceptive debt collection practices, and sued students in locations far away where they could not be present when they executed the financing contract.

Prehired students affected by this action can submit a claim through a link available here.

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Laurel Ridge receives two Military Friendly designations

For the 12th year, Laurel Ridge Community College has been designated a 2022-2023 Military Friendly School. It was given a silver distinction. Also, for the first time, the college has been named a Military Spouse Friendly School.

The Military Friendly Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using a public driven Military Friendly Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers.

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

Laurel Ridge scored especially high in the graduation and job placement category, exceeding the standard by more than 94 percent. Other areas in which the college excelled included support and retention of student veterans, financial aid and assistance, and culture and commitment.

Laurel Ridge Associate Vice President, Student Services and Academic Support, Caroline Wood praised the college’s veteran academic advisors/school certifying officials Jeanmarie Corrado and Sharon Painter.

“Jeanmarie and Sharon serve dual roles as both academic advisors to their assigned students, and also as LFCC’s designated school certifying officials, which involves interpreting and certifying a complex menu of students’ educational benefits available through the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Wood. “Both Jeanmarie and Sharon think of their offices within our Campus Veterans Centers (one in Middletown and one in Fauquier) as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for our student veterans and their families. They also serve as a general resource and referral agent to local Veterans Affairs services and programs. Their commitment to their students is noteworthy.”

Serving veterans, and their spouses and dependents is “an honor,” according to Painter.

“From inquiry to graduation, Laurel Ridge Veteran Services is dedicated to serving student veterans, active-duty service members, guardsmen and women, reservists, and their spouses and dependents through an array of support services designed to help them navigate their transition to higher education and to ultimately achieve their educational goals,” added Corrado.

More than 1,800 schools participated in this year’s Military Friendly School survey, with 785 earning the Military Friendly designation. Just under 350 schools earned the Military Friendly Spouse designation.

“Military Friendly is committed to transparency and providing consistent data-driven standards in our designation process,” said Kayla Lopez, National Director of Military Partnerships, Military Friendly. “Our standards provide a benchmark that promotes positive outcomes and support services that better the educational landscape and provide opportunity for the military community. This creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to evolve and invest in their programs consistently. Schools who achieve awards designation show true commitment in their efforts, going over and above that standard.”

The Military Friendly Schools list will be published in the May and October issue of G.I. Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com. The Military Spouse School list will be published in June in the Military Spouse magazine.

To learn more about veteran services at Laurel Ridge, please visit www.laurelridge.edu/veteran.

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LFCC enters Amazon’s Career Choice Program

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Lord Fairfax Community College and Amazon are partnering together with Amazon’s Career Choice Program.

This initiative provides full tuition to hourly employees to pursue a college education.

Eligible employees will be able to take any class offered at LFCC.

Amazon selected Lord Fairfax through a rigorous process due to their focus on helping employees with education programs, job placement, and the overall quality of education which leads to career success.

This initiative by Amazon is part of the company’s investment of $1.2 billion to upskill their employees by 2025.

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