Two former Missouri college students are suing a for-profit school, alleging they were deceived into borrowing thousands of dollars in student loans with false assurances about the quality of the education and their job prospects after graduation.
Shayanne Bowman, of Lee's Summit, and Jackquelynn Mortenson, of Blue Springs, filed the lawsuit against National American University in Jackson County Circuit Court. The women allege the school ran a "systematic, deceptive marketing scheme" that tricked them into applying for federal student loans that they cannot repay.
"NAU purposely entices prospective students to enroll and apply for student loans they cannot pay back through a systematic, deceptive marketing scheme," the lawsuit stated. "It conducts this scheme in large part through its publications, advertisements, recruiting materials and 'recruiters' and enrollment 'advisers.'"
In the suit, the women claimed they discovered NAU's courses cost much more than initially listed. NAU officials also told them education credits earned could be applied toward a degree program at other schools. But Bowman and Mortenson said they later learned those credits weren't accepted at other schools, which included Metropolitan Community College at Penn Valley and Park University.
The women added that they were misleadingly told area employers hired more graduates from NAU than other schools.
This is the second suit pending against the school that opened in 1941. In the other lawsuit, a former NAU official accuses the South Dakota-based for-profit system of defrauding the federal government out of millions through student loans.
In May, the school closed its two Kansas City-area campuses to focus on online education.