American National University Responds to Department of Education Settlement
SALEM, VA – A sweeping settlement made by the U. S. Department of Education in the class action lawsuit, Sweet v. Cardona, includes many highly questionable claims that unlikely warrant loan forgiveness under applicable federal policy. While not taking a position on the overall decision, American National University is concerned about the precedent set given the highly dubious nature of many of the claims lodged against the institution, and forcefully rejects the department’s implication that there is evidence of misconduct on the part of the university.
American National University has thoroughly investigated the claims made against the institution. We found no evidence to substantiate any misrepresentation of any kind. Many claims simply did not state a claim eligible for relief under the statute. The majority of claims failed to provide any documentation of alleged misconduct as required by Department of Education regulations, while ANU was able to provide documentation to the Department refuting the vast majority of stated claims.
The Department appears to have taken the position that simply attending an educational institution with a particular tax status constitutes the statutory requirement of a strong indication of misconduct to warrant loan forgiveness. American National University rejects any implication created by the Department’s settlement that students who attended American National University were in any way the victims of institutional misconduct.
American National University responsibly follows applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations; and beyond that adheres to an institutional philosophy that is dedicated to the best interest of the student. A sizeable proportion of our graduates – including a number of those who filed claims against the institution – return for a second or even a third degree or other credential. More than two-thirds of those who submitted claims successfully completed a degree program with ANU.
In student satisfaction surveys over the last several years, an overwhelming majority of respondents indicated that through ANU they had completed their educational goals, would recommend ANU to a friend, and were satisfied with their individual academic programs. For example, 97.5% of respondents indicated they were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their overall experience with ANU in the most recent survey year.
ANU has consistently tried to limit costs and indebtedness for our students. Since 2018, ANU has slashed tuition anywhere from 10% to 54%, depending on program. We have held the line on tuition increases since that time until only recently raising tuition for a handful of programs due to inflationary pressures. What’s more, since 2018 we have eliminated nearly all additional fees that institutions typically charge: no technology fees, no activity fees, no fees for books or learning materials, no graduation fees; and for undergraduate programs, no application fees.
Founded in 1886, American National University provides opportunities for individuals who are seeking to achieve their career goals by offering credential and degree programs through distance education and blended learning. For more information, visit an.edu on the web or call 833.388.1100.