In the past year, for-profit schools in Minnesota have been coming under increased scrutiny. The state’s Office of Higher Education has created a new watchdog which sends out “secret shoppers” to monitor whether schools are misleading or dealing honestly with prospective students. Schools giving misleading information about job-placement rates or how much money graduates could earn in their field are just a couple of examples that would raise concerns with these shoppers.
The new state watchdog has started to compare notes with Minnesota State Attorney General’s Office. This this office can suspend or shut down a school that gives students misleading information, including institutions that a court or government proceeding concludes they have engaged in fraud or misrepresentation.
Monitoring your staff can shield your institution from potential fines and penalties. Some areas to proactively monitor for compliance may include:
- Scripts: Providing scripts for your representatives to follow enables them to touch on key benefits of your institution and direct the conversation toward enrollment.
- Citing Statistics and Job Placement: When a prospect inquires about job placement or expected salaries, statistics provided must be accompanied by an official source such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment can never be promised.
- Financial Aid: Not every student will qualify for financial aid. It is important to provide this clarification and transfer prospective students to a financial aid representative to receive further information.