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RELEASE: Generation Progress Calls on Attorneys General to Investigate For-Profit Universities Like Trump University, Launches Satirical Admissions Website


June 30, 2016

CONTACT: Kyle Epstein, 202-481-8137


Washington, D.C.—The for-profit college industry has long been impugned for using unscrupulous recruiting practices, providing low-quality education, overpromising future employment prospects, and ripping off thousands of students in the process. Among the many companies operating this dubious game is Trump University, currently the subject of an ongoing probe into its practices. This week, Generation Progress launched a satirical admissions website for Trump University – complete with FAQs, testimonials, and sample coursework – to imagine how prospective students might view the “University” had the recruiting and marketing process been more honest. Generation Progress has long worked to hold for-profit schools across the country accountable for the promises they make to students.

Last month, Judge Gonzalo Curial, presiding over the class action lawsuit against the unaccredited Trump University, released a trove of documents illuminating the for-profit’s audacious business model. Through these documents, the public was better able to understand some of Trump University’s most innovative schemes, and highlight the institutional parallels between other embattled for-profit colleges.

“Trump University didn’t have a mascot, didn’t have a comprehensive admissions website, and didn’t have any means for students to contribute feedback or proffer advice to future enrollees,” said Maggie Thompson, Executive Director for Generation Progress. “We thought we would supply students and their families a batch of helpful resources to ensure they understand what an education at TrumpU and other for-profits entails. TrumpU, surely, is not alone in the business of scamming students.”

Generation Progress also published an explainer to break down how Trump University, like countless other for-profit colleges before it, executed some of the worst ‘best practices’ in the industry to lure vulnerable students into its program through a calculated veneer of prestige and success. But the Trump University brand merely borrowed from other for-profit colleges, following alleged fraudulent practices pioneered by the likes of ITT Tech, Corinthian Colleges, and others. Similarly, recent reports revealed that ex-Trump University executives are leading a Florida-based career college, formerly a for-profit, which has left watchdogs looking on with skepticism, as it rakes in millions of taxpayer dollars.

But for all of its promises of high-quality instruction from its “certified millionaire mentors,” many Trump University students left the program dissatisfied and defrauded. Along with resources on Trump University’s track record, Generation Progress launched a petition calling on state attorneys general and federal agencies to hold for-profit colleges like Trump University accountable for continually misleading students without consequence. The petition has yielded over 600 signatures.

Related resources:

To check out the website, click here.

To read the blog, click here.

To access the petition, click here.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Kyle Epstein at or 202.481.8137


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