Biden Administration Escalates Conflict with Christian University, Imposes Further Penalties after Unprecedented Fine

The Biden administration has ramped up its investigation into Grand Canyon University in Arizona by filing a lawsuit against the Christian college, alleging false advertising. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken aim at the nation’s largest Christian school, along with its marketer Grand Canyon Education, Inc., and its president CEO Brian Mueller, accusing them of deceptive advertising and illegal telemarketing practices.

The FTC complaint alleges that Grand Canyon University and its marketer misled prospective students about the total tuition cost of the school’s “accelerated” doctoral programs. The agency claims that the school required students to take additional “continuation courses” that added thousands of dollars in costs, despite advertising that the total cost was equivalent to the expense of just 20 courses. The FTC also revealed that fewer than 2% of GCU doctoral program graduates completed their program within the cost advertised, with almost 78% of students taking five or more continuation courses.

According to Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Grand Canyon University deceived students by misrepresenting the costs and the number of courses required to earn doctoral degrees. The FTC is seeking to force the college to compensate students and change its policies to prevent future violations of the law.

This lawsuit comes on the heels of a $37.7 million fine imposed by the Department of Education on Grand Canyon University for misleading doctoral students about the costs of tuition with deceptively low rates in advertisements. The Office of Federal Student Aid has accused the school of harming students, breaking their trust, and leading to unexpectedly high levels of student debt.

In response to the allegations, Grand Canyon University issued a statement on its website, accusing the Biden administration of unfairly targeting the school. The school claimed that the agencies were coordinating efforts to retaliate against the university for its ongoing lawsuit against the Department of Education regarding its nonprofit status. The government alleges that the school has failed to comply with rules governing non-profit schools, but Grand Canyon asserts that its tax-exempt status has been recognized by several reputable organizations.

While the government insists that its actions are reasonable oversight and unrelated to the school’s religious affiliation, Grand Canyon believes that it is being intentionally misclassified as a for-profit institution. The school claims that federal agencies are targeting it in an unprecedented manner, despite proving that it is not violating federal rules.

The article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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