Jan. 18, 2012—Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit today against for-profit school Westwood College, seeking to shut down the school’s criminal-justice program.
Madigan’s lawsuit alleges that Westwood misled potential students and students who are enrolled in the school’s Criminal Justice program through deceptive advertising and misinformation about the cost of tuition and program accreditation.
A news release from Madigan’s office states that Westwood told enrolled students that they could pursue a career at Chicago Police Department, Illinois State Police or other police departments in Illinois upon receiving a degree. However, these agencies didn’t recognize Westwood degrees because of accreditation issues. When students tried to transfer to other programs, they found that their coursework from Westwood wasn’t always transferable.
“Now many of these students are left with thousands in debt in exchange for a college degree that has very little value in the real world,” Madigan says.
Through the lawsuit, Madigan also seeks restitution for current and former students who signed contracts with Westwood if those contracts are proven to be unlawful.
Consumers Digest reported on the deceptive practices of for-profit colleges in "Degrees of Difficulty: The Truth About Online Universities" in its March/April issue and applauds Madigan’s actions.