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La’ James Intl College to forgive $2.1m in student debts through fraud settlement

Staff writer ▼ | July 1, 2016
Fort Dodge, Iowa-based cosmetology school La’ James International College will forgive $2.1 million in student debts, significantly change its business practices, submit to outside oversight, and pay $550,000, through a settlement with Attorney General Tom Miller.
La’ James
Cosmetology    Deceptive, omissive, and unfair practices
The settlement, through a consent judgment, resolves a consumer fraud lawsuit filed in Polk County District Court in 2014, alleging La’ James engaged in deceptive, omissive, and unfair practices in marketing, enrollment, and instruction.

The settlement affects prospective and current students, as well as former students who owe debts to La’ James.

The agreement requires the school to substantially bolster transparency to prospective students, including a one-page disclosure form:

- La’ James must clearly disclose costs and fees associated with enrollment and tuition on a one-page disclosure form.

- The form will include an expected timeline for completing the program, and the percentage of students who successfully completed it within the past three years.

- The form must disclose items and materials the school expects students to purchase. The school will allow students to buy required items elsewhere, a change from past practices.

- La’ James is required to provide a list of current instructors and their qualifications to prospective students who request one.

The school must also provide prospective and current students with a handbook that clearly discloses detailed program requirements, policies, and expectations.

The handbook must include the total number of hours the school requires for students to complete the program, attendance and leave of absence policies, and how the school assigns customers at its salons.