The Dark Side of BloomTech: Deceptive Practices Revealed

BloomTech, formerly known as Lambda School, has recently come under fire from the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for engaging in deceptive practices that have left students in financial turmoil. What was once marketed as a pathway to high-paying tech jobs without the burden of student loans has now been exposed as a predatory scheme that has led to a permanent ban on issuing student loans, hefty fines, and debt relief for some students.

Among the various deceptive practices employed by BloomTech, one of the most significant was the misrepresentation of Income Sharing Agreements (ISAs) as “no loans.” These agreements required students to pay 17 percent of their future income for five years, rather than upfront tuition fees. However, the CFPB determined that these ISAs were indeed loans, as BloomTech was profiting from finance charges and selling student debts to investors at a substantial markup.

As a result of these findings, BloomTech has been permanently banned from issuing student loans and fined $164,000, with CEO Austin Allred personally responsible for $100,000 of the penalty. Additionally, the company has been ordered to cancel loans for students who have not made payments in the last 12 months, allow current students to leave the program with no debt, and provide refunds to graduates who did not secure high-paying jobs as promised.

Beyond the financial deceit, concerns have also been raised about the educational quality at BloomTech. Reports from the CFPB and former students indicate that the school frequently changed curricula, relied on poorly qualified teaching assistants, and failed to deliver on its promise of industry-leading instruction. Students complained of having to self-teach course content due to inadequate support from instructors.

Another troubling revelation was the discrepancy between the job placement rates touted by BloomTech and the actual outcomes reported to investors. While the school claimed job placement rates of at least 71 percent, internal reporting showed rates closer to 50 percent. CEO Austin Allred’s claim of a 100 percent job placement rate for one student was also debunked, highlighting the misleading nature of the school’s promotional materials.

The exposure of BloomTech’s deceptive practices serves as a cautionary tale for prospective students seeking alternative education options. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of thorough research and scrutiny when enrolling in programs that promise high rewards with minimal risk. Moving forward, regulatory bodies and consumers must remain vigilant in holding institutions like BloomTech accountable for their actions to protect the interests of students and prevent further exploitation in the education sector.


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