CHRONICLE OF HIGHER ED: That Time Donald Trump Started a ‘University’ (and an Amazing Blog)

Career College Central Summary:

  • Donald Trump, the celebrity billionaire whose bid for the Republican presidential nomination has been a source of mild to major annoyance for, well, most people, is hardly overseeing his first bid to educate the American public. To say so would be to forget Trump University, the virtual, for-profit “college” he started in 2005.
  • Speaking to the times, the endeavor relied on the sale (at hundreds of dollars a pop) of CDs and DVDs while relieving students of burdensome higher-ed staples such as tests and degrees. This being The Donald, the rhetoric was strong. One DVD set promised that, with it, “you cannot fail to transform your future.”
  • Things got off to a rough start. Mr. Trump’s first lecture, delivered digitally to more than 2,000 people (who had paid $249 to see it), was delayed 45 minutes after the company’s computer services crashed. (And he said what about
  • The “college,” which neither sought nor received accreditation, provoked predictable jabs. Fortune magazine suggested some courses that Trump U. might be exceptionally qualified to offer. Among them: “Intro to Accounting: Smoke, Mirrors, and Other Financial Tools” (an introduction to “obscurantism and the fiduciary arts”) and “Advanced Accounting: Bankruptcy.”
  • But others didn’t find the project so funny. In 2010, New York State’s Education Department sent Trump University a letter demanding that it stop calling itself a “university” since it didn’t grant degrees and wasn’t accredited. (Trump University changed its name to the “Trump Entrepreneur Initiative” later that year.)
  • New York’s attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, took further action in 2013, suing the company formerly known as Trump University for making false claims about its classes. (Michael Cohen, a lawyer for the company, pointed The New York Times to thousands of student evaluations he said the school had received, 98 percent of which were “extremely satisfied.”)

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