The latest salvo, as chronicled by Philip Elliott of Time, concerns Toomey’s connections with Yorktown University, a for-profit and online institution. Toomey had invested in Yorktown University, served on its board, and appeared in some promotional material for the school. The University’s brick and mortar components were located in Colorado and then moved to Florida.
Yorktown has been previously criticized for losing its accreditation and questionable courses. Furthermore, Yorktown was a for-profit college. For-profits have been coming under increased scrutiny for their marketing practices and course offerings.
Some, like Yorktown, have been accused of preying on vulnerable people in order to get government backed loans to support the school’s finances. Specifically, for-profit schools have been accused of going after veterans to get access to uncapped GI loans.
For-profit schools contribute a much higher amount of student debt than their share of total students. Additionally, students who graduate from for-profit schools often have problems finding work and those that do find work do not get paid as much as they had hoped.
Democrats hope to connect Toomey and Yorktown University with Trump and Trump University, a now defunct for-profit institution. One Democrat told Elliott, “Pat Toomey is going to face similar scrutiny over his investments in a for-profit college incredibly similar to Trump’s relationship to Trump U.”
There are two class-action lawsuits pending against Trump University and the Attorney General of New York also has a suit against the organization. Democrats argue that Trump University exhibited the worst qualities of for-profit schools; high cost with little reward. Trump and his team respond that they were doing good work to help people rejected by other schools.
The controversy surrounding Trump University only increased when Trump went after Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a judge overseeing one of the class-action lawsuits.
Toomey’s team brushed off the comparison. Ted Kwong, the campaign’s Communications Director for Toomey said that Democrats, “are desperately throwing mud in the hopes that something will stick.”