President-Elect Donald Trump will face tough challenges once in office but in the meantime he’s been facing some challenges of his own, finally settling a six year long lawsuit against his company, ‘Trump University’.
The settlement has been set at 25 million dollars, with $21 million to be divided between the 6000 claimants and $4 million going to the New York Attorney General’s office for their prosecution. As part of this large settlement Donald Trump will admit no guilt on his part and has stated that he would have won the trial had he pursued it, but chose to settle in order to focus on the needs of the country.
Trump University was a for-profit education company purportedly designed to impart business knowledge and instruct students in real estate investing. Trump advertised it with grandiose claims, saying: “I can turn anyone into a successful real estate investor”. This sentiment attracted many people to enrol onto courses costing up to $35,000 with the expectation that afterward they would be suitably prepared to succeed in real estate.
Alas, upon completion of the course many of the participants felt cheated and that they had not been given what they paid astronomical fees for. Trump’s commonly cited defence of this program was the 98% satisfaction feedback from student feedback forms. However, he neglected to mention that these forms were non-anonymous and had to be completed under pressure and while still expecting future benefits from the program.
The credibility of Trump University was further shaken when it came to light that despite Trump claiming to have “hand-picked” each instructor, he could recall none of their names and if total could only identify 4 people in the entire program. Many former students have claimed these instructors had little to no real estate experience and that their function was more to sell the course than to teach it.
Furthermore, the guidance given to these instructors by their handbooks was dubious, ranging from manipulation techniques on getting students to pay as much as possible to specific instructions on how to proceed should an Attorney General arrive on the scene.
Guilty or not, this is no doubt something Donald will be happy to put behind him moving forward into the presidency.
(Image: Wall Street Journal)