BOSTON (AP/WPRI) -- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has broadened her investigation into recruiting and lending practices at for-profit colleges and trade schools.
Coakley, who began examining a handful of schools two years ago, says she's now looking into whether more than a dozen institutions in Massachusetts misled prospective students about costs, the odds of graduating, or the likelihood they would find employment in their field of study.
Critics of the schools say they leave students with deep debt, and often do not lead to decent-paying jobs.
The Boston Globe reports that Coakley compares the problem to the subprime mortgage crisis, when some lenders encouraged home buyers to take out loans they could not afford.
There are 136 for-profit schools in Massachusetts. A schools trade group defends their record.
In Rhode Island, the for-profit Sawyer School is under investigation by the Rhode Island State Police after suddenly shutting down its Rhode Island locations weeks ago, leaving 302 students in limbo.
A spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Higher Education told Eyewitness News last month that the Sawyer School violated its agreement with the state to provide 60 days notice before closing.
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