Education Management Corp., an operator of for-profit colleges, agreed to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit for $95.5 million.
The accord was announced Monday by the U.S. Justice and Education departments and the attorney generals of Connecticut and Iowa. The company was accused of compensating employees based on how many students they enrolled in violation of a federal regulation.
The for-profit college sector has been imploding, as federal and state regulators have been reining in schools, accusing them of preying on low-income students and saddling them with student loans they can’t repay. Corinthian Colleges collapsed earlier this year in the largest shutdown in U.S. higher education, and the government is in the process of forgiving loans to some former students.
Pittsburgh-based EDMC operates schools under the brands of the Art Institutes, Argosy University, Brown Mackie College and South University in 110 locations in 32 states and Canada. Students can earn college and graduate degrees in fields including food preparation, business, fashion and information technology.