Former students sue Daymar Institutes for $25M, claiming they were scammed

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 3:10pm

A $25 million lawsuit against Daymar Institutes in Middle Tennessee claims students were scammed out of an education — and thousands of dollars.

Eight students who attended Daymar Institutes in Clarksville and Murfreesboro filed the lawsuit Monday in Davidson County Circuit Court.

Daymar Institute, formerly known as Draughons Junior College, is a for-profit, private institution that offers career-based educational programs.

The lawsuit, which is seeking class action, claims Daymar made deceitful promises about career placement and transfer credits, employed “highly unqualified faculty” and caused the defendants to take on “significant educational debt.”

“Job opportunities are not there, as promised. There have been various misrepresentations,” said Knoxville attorney Doug Nichol, who is representing the plaintiffs. “It’s just a diploma mill.”

Calls to the Daymar College Group headquarters in Owensboro weren’t returned on Tuesday.

This isn’t the first time Owensboro, Ky.-based Daymar Colleges Group has been the target of a hefty lawsuit. In July 2011, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway sued Daymar College for similar violations of state consumer protection law, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Daymar is also facing multiple lawsuits with hundreds of complainants in U.S. District Court in Western Kentucky.

Several of the Daymar Colleges, including the Daymar Institutes in Clarksville, Murfreesboro and Nashville received reaccreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools in December. The ACICS is approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

According to its website, the completion of a 96-hour billing and coding specialist associate’s degree at Nashville’s Daymar Institute costs $37,913 and the in-field placement rate is 8.3 percent.

A similar associate’s degree at Nashville State in business management is only 60 hours, costs roughly $7,740 and is transferrable to all Tennessee Board of Regents and University of Tennessee schools.

Overall, the student enrollment at Daymar’s four Middle Tennessee campuses (there are two in Nashville) was 3,480 according to the latest numbers. In 2010, 441 students were “placeable” and 265 found jobs, a 60 percent placement rate.

15 Comments on this post:

By: rickmuz on 1/10/12 at 6:55

WHY would anybody:
1) Attend a for profit school
2) Attend a school without accreditation (REAL accreditation)
3) Believe anything that a RECRUITER tells you
4) Not READ the paperwork before you sign

I don't doubt that folks were swindled, but why do you get to sue? You are just as much to blame for not doing your homework.

By: sidneyames on 1/11/12 at 8:29

rick, is Vanderbilt a state school or non-profit agency? Duh!

The interesting part about students who don't "get it" is that there was probably other students sitting right new to them in the same classes who did "get it" and are now working in valid jobs.

I agree that some teachers are not the best, however, "doing your homework" can surely balance that out.

By: rickmuz on 1/11/12 at 8:51

@Sidneyames... fact check... Vanderbilt is incorporated and chartered as a NOT FOR PROFIT educational institution... Duh!

I am not saying schools do not "make" money. However, FOR PROFIT private schools have a PRIORITY to make money. Whereas a private ACCREDITED university's PRIORITY is education!

As to sitting in class with others that thought the same STUPID thing that you did and did not do their homework either... Somehow, this justifies the school and your lack of due diligence?

What my post actually boils down to is this... DO NOT ATTEND A SCHOOL THAT HAS NO ACCREDITATION WITH ONE OF THE REGIONAL EDUCATIONAL ACCREDITING BOARDS BECAUSE THE "DEGREE" IS WORTHLESS!!

By: rickmuz on 1/11/12 at 8:56

Also @Sidneyames... SURELY you are NOT comparing a degree from an Ivy league school such as Vandy to a worthless document from Daymar/Draughns or any of the plethora of others.

By: LordInfamous on 1/11/12 at 9:02

Vandy is Ivy League-like but not an Ivy. Dammar and schools like it are attractive to people probably were unqualified to attend traditional schools, the bott 3rd of high school classes. They usually run their ads during Judge Joe Brown and Maury and are attractive to people with low skill sets. I for one do not want to visit a doc whose billing person went to Daymar.

By: luvlife on 1/11/12 at 9:48

It is obvious there is no comparison between Daymar and Vandy. However, understand that when people take a medical billing and coding class they normally take an exam given by the American Association of Professional Coders and become a Certified Professional Coder. This exam is given to every person who decides to take it and it does not matter what institution you attended. The standards on this exam are very high. Not everyone who attends one of these institutions have low skill sets. Sometimes its an easier option for them. The test these students take are the same tests that everyone takes for become certified.

By: pagiepoo20 on 1/11/12 at 10:32

I went to daymar two years ago. I went for maybe 6 months max and I owe them 6000+. I had a pell grant and my books were prob 400 max and I never got my funds left over and when I asked about it the ladies in the financial office kept telling me I was still processing in the system. There were students that stated weeks after me gettin 800+ checks and that was the second check of the school term I was driving 2 hours to attend my classes to get ripped off that school was and still is a waste of time and don't get me started on the clueless teashers! Skipping chapters and I had bought books that I never used.

By: Moonglow1 on 1/11/12 at 10:37

Moonglow1: These types of "business models" should not be allowed. These types of For Profit colleges and career schools are proliferating. They have low standards, seek only to make a profit. To blame students is crazy. Blame the hucksters that sell this type of education to students. Most Masters Degrees now are worthless. The Phoenix School and others like Daymar are nothing but greedy business models whose only goal is "the bottom line." This is unlike a public university whose goal is to educate. I hope this lawsuit works and these hucksters go out of business for good.

By: rickmuz on 1/11/12 at 8:16

@Lordinfamous I stand corrected on the "actual" Ivy designation. I agree with you on your other points, which I why I made my comments in my OP. WHY do you get to sue when you failed to do your due diligence? Yes they prey on folks that are gullible, but I am certain they have a team of hotshot JD's that have written the contract and I am all but CERTAIN the contract does not promise you ANYTHING more than non-accreditated "degree". The truly sad fact is almost everyone (with a bit of effort, and isn't that what college is about) can get into a 2 year State school. Yes they have standards, but you can work on what you need to become proficient enough to get in.

By: rickmuz on 1/11/12 at 8:23

@Luvlife I am directing my comments to the so called "degree" seeking student. If the career path that you have chosen has a National accrediting body and administers a standardized exam then you are good to go. My problem is with folks that walked into a "school" did not ask questions (or ask the questions and got the answer from someone looking to make a commission) took the word of whoever they ask and did not do any research. These same folks now want to sue (specifically the "nursing" student that can not transfer any credits from a NON ACCREDITED school to an accredited institution) What! were you thinking? Why didn't you read?
@Moonglow has it right!

By: govskeptic on 1/12/12 at 7:36

Stupidity is the word of the day on 90% of these so-called educational
institutions or trade academies! If you get a student loan to attend a
"college" that advertises on the Maury Povich Show, you may be a redneck!

By: BigPapa on 1/12/12 at 8:54

Anyone that thinks Daymar is much different from UT, Austin Peay, or TSU is fooling themselves. Schools are in the business of selling classes and "certifications" some are just underwritten by the good folks of the state of TN.

That being said I have a relative that's pretty high up in a group that owns and operates a number of these for profit schools, and let me tell ya.. he's livin' large. The recession is a boon to these type of schools.

By: rickmuz on 1/12/12 at 9:50

@Bigpapa: "Anyone that thinks Daymar is much different from UT, Austin Peay, or TSU is fooling themselves." DO WHAT?!!!!!

As previously stated ALL SCHOOLS MAKE MONEY! The difference? TSU/UT and APSU (among thousands of other ACCREDITED colleges and universities) hand you a CV and a Degree that is actually WORTH SOMETHING!

Your relative is the example of the problem. These schools exist FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE of making money; "education" is VERY LOW on the list of priorities.

By: nicolej2046 on 1/13/12 at 10:51

To all who keep saying that it was the students fault for not doing their homework. I did and read the paper work. They lied and if they didnt why is there so many students sue them? Not because they mad because they was lied to. Come on really think why would someone go to a school and waste all that money and have to pay it back and your degree that you think you getting is worthless. You think people dont lie come on now this is america. Even when you go on the website and that online chat comes up and ask it is it a accredited school it says yes. When you call and talk to someone they tell you the same thing. So please dont think that some people did not do their homework.

By: Lilybuggles on 5/22/13 at 9:50

I am currently about to graduate from Daymar College with a associates in medical billing and coding. When I had originally decided to go with Daymar it sounded perfect for me, everything could be done online and one class per month. Initially I had told my admissions officer and my financial aid officer that I would need extra funds in order to attend I am a single mother and wanted to pursue a career that could provide stability for both me and my daughter. They said no problem they would work it out. Classes were starting and my financial aid had not been completed yet so they told me to go ahead and start the classes and if I did not like the figures then I could stop taking classes and no harm done as long as it was worked out within the first two weeks and they promised it would be. In the meantime my admission rep quit and my financial aid officer who eventually quit had the mental mentality of a two year old. Three months later they get my figures worked out but no extra money when I bring it up again the proceed to inform me that they want their graduates to graduate owing as little money as possible so they do not allow extra money for living expenses and such. I was stuck i was already attending classes and was pretty much locked in. I decided to continue with my education with Daymar and struggle through the two years the courses took. I received a list of classes I was to take the next term and saw that there were classes on there that should have transferred through, when I called they informed me that I slipped through the cracks and now that I brought it to their attention they would take care of it. I get a migraine every time I have to contact the school which sucks because you want to be proud of the school you attend. I am proud of my accomplishment and look forward to working in the field and if my next two classes go well will be graduating with a 4.0. I think its horrible that a educational institute can be so unorganized and lie to people and basically put them in a position like I was in where you really don't have a choice but to continue going there. To be honest if I thought I had a case that would stand up in court I would sue to because they basically used their position to take advantage of someone who does not know how the system works. I am a college student not a college condusour. Thanks for reading my story! Starting over just seemed more stressful than completing what I had already started.