Education

$1.2 million in restitution coming for former students of for-profit college

MCT

About 3,500 former Daymar College students in Kentucky will begin receiving restitution checks totaling $1.2 million, Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office announced Wednesday.

The payments will come out of the 2015 settlement of a consumer protection lawsuit brought by the attorney general against the for-profit school based in Western Kentucky.

The lawsuit was filed in 2011 against Daymar by then Attorney General Jack Conway. He charged the school with denying students access to financial aid to buy their textbooks from vendors other than Daymar’s bookstore, which allegedly charged significantly higher prices than other vendors; misrepresenting students’ ability to transfer credits earned at Daymar to other institutions; admitting students who failed Daymar’s admissions assessment in violation of the school’s own admissions policy; hiring unqualified faculty who lacked the required credentials.

Daymar denied the violations as part of the settlement.

As part of its settlement, Daymar has already forgiven $11 million in student debt to nearly 6,500 students who qualified. The average loan forgiveness amount was $1,700.

Beshear said the average restitution is about $345 to students who attended a Daymar campus in Kentucky between July 27, 2006 and July 27, 2011.

Restitution amounts are based on the number of semesters students completed at Daymar and the number of approved claims that were submitted.

Under the settlement, students receiving more than $1,000 in debt relief, however, were ineligible for cash payments.

“College has never been more unaffordable, and students are being crushed with debt,” Beshear said in a news release. “The Attorney General’s office is focused on ensuring Kentucky’s students are treated fairly. Every week it seems our office receives a call by a former Daymar student who is wanting finality in this case. I’m pleased that our office could announce that these students will be receiving restitution.”

Students receiving restitution and debt relief attended Kentucky Daymar campuses in Albany, Bellevue, Bowling Green, Clinton, Louisville (two locations), Madisonville, Owensboro, Paducah, Russellville and Scottsville.

While most Daymar locations in Kentucky have closed, the college remains open and enrolling new students in online and ground programs in Bellevue and Bowling Green, Beshear said. Daymar locations in Madisonville, Owensboro and Russellville are no longer enrolling new students but remain open to finish programs for currently enrolled students at those locations.

Daymar also has online programs and campuses in Ohio and Tennessee.

Daymar also agreed to make changes to its business practices being overseen by a court-appointed compliance monitor, former Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper Jr. Cooper will continue to monitor Daymar’s operations until Sept. 10, 2017.

For questions about the claim process, students may call the claims administrator at 844-814-8813 or visit DaymarCollegeSettlement.com.

Linda Blackford: 859-231-1359, @lbblackford

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