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August 05, 2016

Nonprofit Fla. College Has Telemarketing Army, Suit Claims

A lawsuit against Keiser University alleges the newly nonprofit Florida institution employs 350 telemarketers to machine-call prospective students, potentially giving ammunition to critics who contend Keiser remains an essentially commercial enterprise, according to BuzzFeed News.

The suit was filed by a Florida man who said he was called by Keiser representatives three times a day despite repeated assertions that he was not interested in attending. The university, which has some 20,000 students, converted from for-profit to nonprofit in 2011. Its past owner, Arthur Keiser, now serves as president and has drawn scrutiny for his financial arrangements with the university.

The lawsuit alleges Keiser is essentially a sales operation designed to enroll the most students possible. Critics contend its switch to nonprofit status was aimed at avoiding stringent regulations on commercial colleges enacted by the Obama administration. Keiser officials have denied that assertion, and a university spokeswoman said the suit’s telemarketing claims are “frivolous, not consistent with our practices, nor the facts.”