Attorney General Tong Announces Investigation Into Stone Academy
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today announced an investigation into potential violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act by Stone Academy after the nursing school abruptly closed its doors leaving students’ educational plans in limbo.
The for-profit nursing school announced that it would be closing its campuses in East Hartford, Waterbury and West Haven on February 15 following serious concerns regarding National Council Licensure Examination Rates, faculty qualifications, and clinical training. Since then, the Office of the Attorney General has received over 100 complaints from students and faculty. The Office of the Attorney General has been working closely with the Office of Higher Education, Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Education to assist students in obtaining transcripts, tuition refunds, loan discharges, adjustments to veteran’s benefits, as well as providing support for students attempting to continue their education at other schools.
Attorney General Tong today sent a civil investigative demand to Stone Academy demanding detailed information and records regarding the education provided to and tuition collected from each student, the schools’ marketing practices, faculty qualifications, revenues, and accreditation materials, as well as all complaints received by the school. The demand also seeks information regarding how and when the school decided to close and how that decision was communicated to students. The demand further seeks detailed information as to how the school intends to reimburse students for tuition and costs, how it intends to assist students in continuing their education, and how it intends to inform students of their rights and options following the school closure.
Stone is required to respond to the demand by March 10. Click here for a copy of the civil investigative demand.
“Students paid thousands of dollars in tuition and worked extremely hard—some over many months and years—to fulfill their dreams of becoming nurses. Stone failed them. Stone’s pass rate was unacceptably low. Some of their faculty were not legally qualified to teach. Students wasted hours in invalid clinical training. The school was simply not preparing its students to become successful nurses. We’re going to find out exactly what Stone promised these students and how things went so wrong. If we find any violations of the law, we won’t hesitate to hold Stone’s leaders accountable,” said Attorney General Tong.
“The Office of Higher Education has been and will continue to work closely with the Attorney General’s office to process the closure of Stone Academy,” said Timothy Larson, Executive Director of the Office of Higher Education. “Our office is currently processing all active Stone Academy student files so that we can turn them over to an independent auditor for verification. We appreciate that students are anxious to know their status so that they can determine next steps but rushing this process will not be in anyone’s best interest. For those who have called or emailed, we’re working our way through a large volume of messages to get back to you.”
The Office of higher Education has sent a registration link to Stone students for an information fair scheduled for next week. Registration is required. Click here for the registration form. Other career schools, the community college system, the National Guard and the state and federal Departments of Education will be in attendance to provide displaced students with important information on transferring schools, loan discharge, tuition refunds and more.
If you are a Stone Academy student in need of assistance, or a Stone Academy employee with information relevant to this investigation, please file a complaint via the Office of the Attorney General’s online portal.
Students may also wish to contact the Office of Higher Education for assistance and guidance regarding their educational options via 860-947-1816 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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