At one time, National American University, a for-profit school based in Rapid City, South Dakota, had several United States locations. You could find them at Lee’s Summit, Overland Park, Zona Rosa, and many other places until they began to shut down due to the National American University lawsuit.
The National American University began closing its campuses and focused on online education due to its decline. Shortly after, they shut down two of its remaining campuses in the Kansas City area.
The shutdown came from a class-action lawsuit against National American University, filed in Jackson County MO Circuit Court. Two former students filed the lawsuit was filed who sought damages for:
- negligent representation,
- civil conspiracy,
- fraudulent misrepresentation, and
- violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.
However, even with the lawsuit, is National University legit? If you believe the school has defrauded you, what should you do next? Let’s find answers to these questions and more about the National American University lawsuit.
About National American University Lawsuit
The National American University was founded in 1941 as a for-profit private multidisciplinary higher-education institution. The school is located in Rapid City, South Dakota, and has numerous branch campuses in Colorado Springs, Overland Park, Brooklyn Center, Denver, etc.
When the lawsuit was filed against National American University, the school’s attorneys moved the case to federal court. However, the plaintiffs’ attorneys of the Independence, Farrington & McClain, and Missouri law firm Humphrey argued that the removal was not appropriate. The court agreed, and they returned the case to the Jackson County Circuit Court.
National American University, like other for-profit institutions, participates in federal student loan programs. And according to the lawsuit against National American University, the school intentionally enticed prospective students to enroll and apply for student loans they could not repay.
The enticement was done through deceptive, systematic marketing and recruiting schemes. According to the plaintiffs, the scheme included false statements by financial aid officers and recruiters about:
- The actual cost of attending National American University,
- The institution’s accreditation for particular vocations,
- Quality of the teachers and courses,
- Career placement services,
- Employment prospects
The National American University Lawsuit Wasn’t The Only One Filed.
Aside from the class-action lawsuit against National American University, a former administrator filed a federal lawsuit in South Dakota. The allegations included forcing students to go for student loans for credit hours they didn’t need. And that was because they were waiting for the institution to help them find internships.
Due to that suit, the school developed a bad reputation among the health care employers in Minnesota. And that is because the students the school got for internships were not prepared in their fields, so they had difficulty filling internships.
The plaintiffs involved in that suit filed by HFM Legal were of identical experiences to the students coerced to enroll in unnecessary courses to acquire their degree. According to Andrew K. Smith, the attorney for HFM, these tactics systematically drove the school enrollment practices.
Aside from that, it worked to the institution’s great financial benefit at the expense of its students, the American taxpayers, and the government. The attorneys with HFM Legal were able to secure a $3 million settlement shared among the plaintiffs.
Veterans Affairs National American University Lawsuit
The lawsuit against National American University was not only with federal student aid but with Veterans Affairs too. Some VA students claimed their funder was charged overages which they had to pay in the end. Schools reported cost over the covered amounts and that students’ school accounts were charged the difference.
The students were not told about the charges until the interest on the loan accumulated. All these fraudulent activities significantly increased the institution’s revenues to about $10 million in profit.
However, with the class-action lawsuit against National American University, it’s possible to get some or all of your money given back to you. The National American University lawsuit has made it possible for affected students to get at least some closure.
If you were part of the affected students, you have several options you can take.
National American University Loan Forgiveness
If you’re a victim of the lawsuit against National American University, you have some alternatives to consider. According to the school, you can either:
- Continue your program at National American University by participating in online courses. The institution’s campus provides the courses in Rapid City, South Dakota.
- Transfer to a comparable program provided by Rasmussen College or another institution of your choice. However, you have to make sure they offer similar programs as National American University.
- Withdrawn from national American University.
Keep in mind that this applies to students who enrolled in National American University at Roseville, Minnesota. The decision is yours on whether to transfer to the National American University at Rapid City, Rasmussen College, or apply for a federal closed school discharge.
If you were not able to complete your program, you could apply for Federal Student Aid. If may qualify for a federal loan discharge if:
- You were already a student when the school shut down,
- You were on an approved leave of absence when the institution closed down, or
- If your school shut down within 120 days after you withdrew.
You’ll not qualify for the loan discharge in case:
- If you withdrew over 120 days before the institution closed
- You were completing a comparable education program at another institution vai a teach-out, transferring academic credits, or hours earned at the closed institution to another school, or by other equivalent means
- You finished all your coursework for the program before the school shut down, even if you didn’t get a diploma or certificate.
If you want more information on the closed school discharge, you can check out Federal Student Aid’s detailed criteria.
You Can Pursue Borrower’s Defense To Repayment
If you already graduated with a degree and the school closed down, you won’t qualify for the loan discharge. However, if you can use the National American University lawsuit to prove that the school defrauded you, you could get loan forgiveness via the Borrower’s Defense to Repayment.
You should not assume that you’ll automatically be forgiven just because there is a National American University lawsuit. The question is can you explain that you were financially harmed by what the school did?
Borrower’s Defense to Repayment is challenging to get than closed school discharge. The U.S. Department of Education surveyed in February 2020. In that research, they found that 16% of the 300,000 applications submitted were approved since the program began.
However, it’s not possible. You have to make sure if it’s the right choice to go with. You may need to contact a professional to help you make a good decision.
Is National American University legit? Fraud and scam seem to be the words coming out from the mouth of former students of National American University. Online complaint boards are filled with massive claims that the school adds mysterious fees to students’ accounts without informing them.
As a result, the interests add up, making it almost impossible for students to break out of student loan debts. The National American University lawsuit has caused a lot of emotional trauma for many students. The student loan is a huge burden to carry. If you are facing any problems with your student loans, contact us at 800-820-8128 for professional assistance. We are always ready to help you come out of debt and gain your financial freedom.