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Misrepresentation

'Misrepresentation' is defined as: 
 
"Any false, erroneous, or misleading statement an eligible institution, one of its representatives, or any ineligible institution, organization, or person with whom the eligible​ institution has an agreement to provide educational programs, marketing, advertising, recruiting, or admissions services makes directly or indirectly to a student, prospective student or any member of the public, or to an accrediting agency, to a State agency, or to the Secretary. A misleading statement includes any statement that has the likelihood or tendency to deceive or confuse. A statement is any communication made in writing, visually, orally, or through other means. "​
 
Program integrity regulations regarding misrepresentation (Subpart F- Sections 668.71 through 668.75) state that "substantial misrepresentations about 
  • the nature of an eligible institution's educational program (such as program content, transferability of credits, and certification for practice in a field),
  • its financial charges (such as costs and refund policies, availability and type of financial assistance, and rights in applying or rejecting any particular type of financial assistance), 
  • or the employability of its graduates (such as the institution's knowledge about the current or future conditions, compensation, or employment opportunities in the industry; and requirements that are generally needed in the field.)
are prohibited in all forms, including those made in any advertising, promotional materials, or in the marketing or sale of courses or programs of instruction offered by the institution. ​
Substantial misrepresentation is defined as "any misrepresentation on which the person to whom it was made could reasonably be expected to rely, or has reasonably relied, to that person's detriment." In determining whether an institution has engaged in substantial misrepresentation and the appropriate enforcement action to take, the Department will consider the magnitude of the violation and whether there was a single, isolated occurrence.
 
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education's Q&A page on misrepresentation​.

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