Globe University, Minnesota School of Business begin closing
WOODBURY, Minn. — The end may be near for Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business.
The Woodbury-based schools posted a message on their websites Tuesday that details an uncertain path forward for the schools, which were found in September to have defrauded students.
The message outlines coming closures of Minnesota campuses, ways students can transfer credits to other colleges and how a related school, Utah-based Broadview University, will take over administration of campuses in South Dakota and Wisconsin.
"We know how incredibly difficult it has been to be without answers about your continued education," the statement reads. "It is our goal to make sure students have options to complete their degree with us or transfer credits to another accredited institution."
In September, a Hennepin County district judge found Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business committed fraud by leading students to believe that completing the schools' criminal justice program would help them become police and probation officers. The ruling was the result of a 2014 lawsuit filed against the schools by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, after hundreds of students complained to her office.
The fraud ruling set off a series of consequences that, unless they are overturned, make it nearly impossible for the institutions to continue to operate. They include:
— The Minnesota Office of Higher Education revoking the schools' ability to operate in the state.
— State and federal bans on enrolling new students.
— The rejection of the schools' request to continue to participate in federal financial aid programs.
School leaders are appealing these actions, but time is short. The schools are scheduled to lose access to federal student loan funds after Dec. 31.
"While we vehemently disagree with the terminal actions taken against Globe University & Minnesota School of Business, we are grateful for the opportunity to help our students complete their degrees," said CEO Jeff Myhre, said in a statement. "We are hopeful that our appeals will be heard and the destructive actions resolved."
School representatives were unavailable Wednesday for comment.
The statement on the institutions' website says students should be able to complete their studies at other schools that reached "teach out" agreements with Globe and the Minnesota School of Business.
Those include Concordia University, which will take over the nursing program Jan. 1, and Broadview University, which is part of the related Globe Education Network.
Utah-based Broadview and the Minnesota schools share an oversight agency, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Universities, which just had its authority revoked by the federal government. That decision is also being challenged.
The Obama administration has tightened oversight of for-profit colleges such as Globe and the Minnesota School of Business after criticisms that they mislead students to get them to sign up for expensive degree programs. The crackdown has led to the sale of the Concordia chain of colleges and the recent closure of ITT Technical Institute.
Federal data from 2015 shows the two schools had 19 campuses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota that enrolled more than 4,500 students. After the fraud trial began in April, the schools said they were closing several Minnesota campuses and consolidating others.
About 1,700 Minnesotans were enrolled in the schools as of September, state officials said.
The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.