|AGO Secures $1M for Students in Agreement With Mildred Elley|
|05:43PM / Tuesday, November 09, 2021|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mildred Elley School will provide more than $1 million in relief to hundreds of former students in an agreement reached with the state Attorney General's Office.
The New York State for-profit school, which has a campus in Pittsfield, is accused of using unfair recruitment and enrollment practices between 2015 and 2017.
Some of these allegations related to placement rates for graduates, with the AGO finding that, for example, placement rates for clinical medical assistant and paralegals was "materially lower" than the school's reported rates of more than 70 percent.
The school also allegedly failed to make certain disclosures to consumers and prospective students at least 72 hours prior to entering into enrollment agreements and engaged in high-pressure sales tactics by contacting prospective students more than twice in a seven-day period.
"Our for-profit school regulations ensure that prospective students have the information they need to make informed decisions about their education and are protected from deceptive enrollment practices," said Attorney General Maura Healey in a statement announcing the settlement. "This settlement stops this school from using these tactics on students moving forward and secures relief for the harm done."
Mildred Elley has agreed to pay the AGO $600,000 to be distributed to students and to cancel outstanding student debts totaling $422,078. The AGO will determine the students to benefit from these actions.
The agreement was made on Friday in Suffolk Superior Court and will discontinue state action against Empire Education Corp. The AGO said Mildred Elley cooperated with this investigation and both agree that this assurance of discontinuance does not acknowledge any wrongdoing on the part of Mildred Elley.
The school on West Street offers certificates in business technology, clinical medical assisting, cosmetology, massage therapy, medical office assisting and practical nursing. These courses take about 15 months to complete.
This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Lilia DuBois, Legal Analyst Amanda Hesse, and Paralegal Bridget Menkis of AG Healey's Insurance and Financial Services Division.