Biden Admin Amps Up Its War on Christian University, Goes Step Further After Unprecedented Fine

Biden Admin Amps Up Its War on Christian University, Goes Step Further After Unprecedented Fine

On Wednesday, the Biden administration stepped up its scrutiny against a Christian college in Arizona when the Federal Trade Commission announced a lawsuit against the school alleging “false advertising.”

The FTC is targeting Grand Canyon University in Arizona, the nation’s largest Christian school, with a lawsuit against the school, its marketer Grand Canyon Education, Inc., and its president CEO Brian Mueller, alleging that they perpetrated false advertising and conducted illegal telemarketing practices, according to Fox Business Network.

In a complaint filed in federal court, the FTC says that GCU and GCE told prospective students that the total tuition cost of GCU’s “accelerated” doctoral programs was equal to the cost of just 20 courses (or 60 credits),” the agency said in its news release.

“In reality, the school requires that almost all doctoral students take additional ‘continuation courses’ that add thousands of dollars in costs. The U.S. Department of Education reported that fewer than 2% of GCU doctoral program graduates completed their program within the cost that GCU advertises, and almost 78% of these students take five or more continuation courses,” the FTC added.

“Grand Canyon deceived students by holding itself out as a non-profit institution and misrepresenting the costs and number of courses required to earn doctoral degrees,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “We will continue to aggressively pursue those who seek to take advantage of students.”

The agency said the college, which has 25,800 in-person students and another 92,000 online, is violating the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and is asking the U.S. District Court in Arizona to force the school to compensate students and to force the school to change its policies to stop the school “from further violations of the law.”

The latest filing against the school comes on the heels of a massive $37.7 million fine imposed by the Department of Education on Oct. 31.

According to the Office of Federal Student Aid, Grand Canyon misled around 7,500 doctoral students about the costs of tuition with deceptively low rates in advertisements.

“GCU lied about the cost of its doctoral programs to attract students to enroll,” said FSA Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray.

“FSA takes its oversight responsibilities seriously. GCU’s lies harmed students, broke their trust, and led to unexpectedly high levels of student debt,” Cordray added. “Today, we are holding GCU accountable for its actions, protecting students and taxpayers, and upholding the integrity of the federal student aid programs.”

The college struck back in a statement on its website, accusing the Biden administration of “unjustly” targeting them, and said the Department of Education, Federal Trade Commission and Department of Veterans Affairs “are coordinating efforts to unjustly target GCU in what appears to be retaliation for the university filing an ongoing lawsuit against [the U.S. Department of Education] regarding its nonprofit status.”

“This is occurring at an alarming level for government agencies to be taking against the largest Christian university in the country,” the school said in an Oct. 5 statement.

The government has claimed that the school has not met the government’s rules governing non-profit schools.

But Grand Canyon pointed out that its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status “has been recognized by the IRS, Higher Learning Commission, State of Arizona, Arizona Private Postsecondary Board and NCAA Athletics.”

While the government has insisted that its barrage of lawsuits is meant to enact “reasonable oversight” on the school and that its targeting of the school has “nothing to do with the school’s religious affiliation as a Christian University,” Grand Canyon feels otherwise.

In its statement, Grand Canyon also accused the Department of Education of “intentionally mis-classifying GCU” as a for-profit institution and said that federal agencies are targeting it “in an unprecedented manner,” even though it says it has proven that it is not violating federal rules.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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