The U.S. Department of Education (Department) office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) today announced a $37.7 million fine against Grand Canyon University (GCU), which disbursed the most federal student aid of all participating institutions for the past four award years. An FSA investigation found GCU lied to more than 7,500 former and current students about the cost of its doctoral programs over several years. GCU falsely advertised a lower cost than what 98% of students ended up paying to complete certain doctoral programs.
“GCU lied about the cost of its doctoral programs to attract students to enroll,” said FSA Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray. “FSA takes its oversight responsibilities seriously. GCU’s lies harmed students, broke their trust, and led to unexpectedly high levels of student debt. Today, we are holding GCU accountable for its actions, protecting students and taxpayers, and upholding the integrity of the federal student aid programs.”
GCU has 20 days to request a hearing with the Department’s Office of Hearings and Appeals or submit written material to FSA indicating why the fine should not be imposed. In addition to the fine, the Department imposed specific conditions on the school to continue participating in the federal student aid programs.