Over-hyped diplomas lead to small refunds for students

Diplomas from the school failed to meet the basic requirements set by most states.

(KUTV) Ask any mom or high school guidance counselor - they’ll tell you that a high school diploma matters. Diplomas open doors to jobs and schools.

But not all diplomas are created equal. For example, students of the Stratford Career Institute found doors not opening because diplomas from the school failed to meet the basic requirements set by most states. That according to FTC charges brought way back in February 2016.

"Consumer complaints and Stratford’s records showed that consumers who tried to use the company’s diplomas were often told by prospective employers and college admissions officers that the program was not equivalent to a traditional high school diploma," the FTC said.

In February 2017, Stratford Career Institute agreed to stop making allegedly deceptive claims about educational programs under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The settlement also demanded that Stratford pay folks back.

Now, two-long-years after the original FTC charges, the commission is mailing refund checks to people who felt misled by Stratford. The FTC is sending 8,043 checks totaling more than $216,000 to people who paid Stratford. That’s an average refund of about $27.00 per student.

Included in the press release about the Stratford refunds, the FTC wrote that its “law enforcement actions led to more than $6.4 billion in refunds for consumers in a one-year period between July 2016 and June 2017."

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