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College America Faces Trial Over 'Misleading' Ads

DENVER (CBS4) - A trial is underway in Denver District Court where the Colorado Attorney General is asking a judge to order a chain of career colleges in Colorado to refund students' tuition, fees and forgive loan debts.

The state claims College America used misleading ads that say students will make a better and higher salary with a degree.

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(credit: CBS)

CEO Eric Juhlin told CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger, the ads are true.

"We disagree with that the particular points they take issue with is the use of national data," he said.

There are three College America campuses in the state offering a variety of career courses.

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(credit: CBS)

Bradley Dean is a former student who testified. He says he now has a degree in graphic design, $32,000 in student loans and no job.

"I wasn't really aware of predatory practices within the higher education industry when I started there," he said.

The college is also accused of misleading students on courses regarding x-ray technician, Emergency Medical Technician and sonography. Juhlin took issue with that.

"Yeah we disagree with that, two of the allegations are with a sonography program and an EMT program which College America has never offered."

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Eric Juhlin, CEO of College America. (credit: CBS)

But two years ago Tiffany Hoffman showed CBS4 a brochure with an Emergency Medical Technician course that wasn't offered at her campus.

"I mean this is five years of my life I can never get back," she said at the time.

Other students interviewed by CBS4 in previous stories praised the college.

The trial is expected to last about three weeks. The state is also seeking millions of dollars in penalties and restitution.

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