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The U.S.’s Largest Christian University Is Facing Yet Another Government Lawsuit for Fraud

The U.S.’s Largest Christian University Is Facing Yet Another Government Lawsuit for Fraud

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against Grand Canyon University, the largest Christian university in America, accusing the institution of deceptive advertising, illegal telemarketing and falsely presenting itself as a nonprofit, officials said this week.

The lawsuit, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, targets Grand Canyon Education Inc (GCE), its CEO and the university. The FTC alleges the university misled prospective doctoral students about program costs and requirements and engaged in deceptive and abusive telemarketing practices.

According to the FTC, the university, despite its nonprofit claims, has been operated to benefit GCE and its shareholders, with 60% of its revenue going to GCE. Regulatory filings describe the university as a “partner” of GCE.

Officials for the Arizona-based university denied the FTC’s “unsubstantiated allegations” and promised to refute them.

“Given the major problems that exist in higher education… it is baffling that the federal government has chosen to target a Christian university that is addressing those issues in very positive ways,” the university said in a statement.

This is the second government lawsuit GCU is facing in a matter of weeks. In November, the U.S. Department of Education fined the university $37.7 million for misrepresenting the costs of its doctoral programs. A report from the found that fewer than two percent of the school’s doctoral program graduates completed their program within the advertised cost, and almost 78% took five or more continuation courses.

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