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Student Defense: FSA Should Bring La’James International College Into Compliance Before Awarding A New Participation Agreement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 13, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT:
press@defendstudents.org | 202-734-7495

Student Defense: FSA Should Bring La’James International College Into Compliance Before Awarding A New Participation Agreement

 Student Defense today sent a letter to the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) calling for La’James International College’s (La’James) full compliance with Title IV regulations before the school is issued a new program participation agreement (PPA). The letter — sent to FSA’s Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray — details the school’s dubious history riddled with questionable business practices and misrepresentations that have negatively affected hundreds of students. The school’s current PPA is set to expire at the end of September.

In March 2020, Student Defense also filed a class action lawsuit in the Iowa District Court for Polk County alleging the alleging the school made misrepresentations to its students regarding the availability and timing of financial aid, and l violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act by illegally withholding financial aid funds intended for students’ living expenses.

“FSA should take this opportunity to ensure La’James students are protected and made whole before awarding a new agreement that would allow this company continued access to millions of dollars in taxpayer funds,” said Student Defense President and Cofounder Aaron Ament.

La’James has come under scrutiny from the State of Iowa for misrepresenting its financial aid practices and living expense disbursements, and violated a 2016 agreement entered into with the state that was intended to prevent the school from engaging in these practices. FSA has also required La’James to be on heightened cash monitoring since 2017 due to a number of potential adverse findings, including failing to refund and return Title IV funds.

A full copy of the letter can be found on the Student Defense website.