Globe U and Minnesota School of Business ordered to repay students
MINNEAPOLIS — More than 1,000 students who attended the criminal justice programs at Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business could get some of their money back.
A Hennepin County district judge ruled Wednesday, Jan. 4, that 15 students who testified against the schools during a fraud trial should receive restitution. The schools also were told to set up a system so that the roughly 1,200 students who enrolled in the criminal justice programs since 2009 can ask for reimbursement for their tuition, fees and other academic expenses.
In September, Globe and the Minnesota School of Business were found to have defrauded students by leading them to believe completing the criminal justice programs would help them become police and probation officers. Many students spent up to $80,000 completing degrees, but did not get any closer to their career goals.
The ruling was the result of a 2014 lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Lori Swanson after hundreds of students complained to her office. The fraud finding set off a series of regulatory consequences that are causing the schools to close campuses or transfer administration of branches to other institutions.
School officials noted in a statement that only 4 percent of students at the two schools attended the criminal justice programs that closed in 2014. School leaders continue to work with regulators and are considering their next steps, including whether to appeal.
"We are disappointed that the Court's findings, based on the testimony of only 16 students, have resulted in such significant harm to the education and degrees of tens of thousands of students and alumni," the statement said.
The court order Wednesday requires the schools to provide the state the last known addresses of eligible students within 15 days. After they are contacted, students will have 45 days to file a claim for restitution.
The state and the schools must agree on the amount of restitution; any disputes will be decided by a third party.
Globe University's Moorhead campus announced in late 2015 that it had stopped enrolling new students and would close once current students finished their studies and graduated.