North Greenville Univ. to pay $2.5m settlement over claim of student recruitment violations

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GREENVILLE CO., SC (WSPA) – North Greenville University will pay a $2.5 million settlement over allegations that they violated a federal ban on incentive-based payments over student recruitment.

According to the Department of Justice, between 2014 and 2016, North Greenville was alleged to have hired Joined Inc. to recruit students to North Greenville University and paid based on number of students enrolled in the university’s programs.

Joined Inc. was a company partially owned by North Greenville University.

The allegations were brought forward by whistleblower Maurice Shoe, co-owner of Joined. Shoe will receive a share of the money from the settlement, totaling $375,000.

“This settlement will help ensure that schools and recruitment services put the educational interests of students and potential enrollees first,” said U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon for the District of South Carolina.  “It should serve as a warning to institutions that would attempt to maximize enrollments to line their own pockets, disregarding the best interests of students in the process.”

Any institution of higher education that receives federal student aid is prohibited from compensating student recruiters with a commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based on the recruiters’ success in securing student enrollment, according to Title IV of the Higher Education Act.

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