Today the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sending payments totaling over $830,300 to 1,376 students who enrolled at Saint James School of Medicine between fall 2016 and summer 2021.
- On Nov. 3, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began sending payments totaling over $830,300 to hundreds of students who enrolled at Saint James School of Medicine between fall 2016 and summer 2021.
- Back in April 2022, the FTC reported Saint James misled prospective students about their chances of both passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 Exam and matching with a residency program after graduating.
- The FTC imposed a judgment against Saint James and its operators of more than $1.2 million to be put toward student refunds and debt cancellation.
Deceptive Medical School Marketing
Saint James, a for-profit medical school located in the Caribbean, and its Illinois-based operators have been falsely advertising about the successfulness of its students since at least April 2018, according to the FTC. Back in April 2022, the FTC issued a complaint alleging Saint James misled prospective students about their chances of both passing a critical medical school standardized test and matching with a residency program following their graduation.
According to the FTC's complaint, Saint James and its operators claimed in sales calls, marketing materials, and presentations that the medical school possessed very high pass rates for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 Exam, despite its pass rate being only 35%. The medical school also promised its students had "the same" residency match rates as American medical schools. Since 2017, their actual match rates have been roughly 20% lower than advertised.
The Actions Against Saint James
As part of the final order, the FTC took the following actions against Saint James and its operators:
- Imposed a judgment of over $1.2 million, which went toward refunds and debt cancellation.
- Required the defendants to notify consumers whose debts were canceled.
- Banned the defendants from misrepresenting their USMLE pass rate and residency matches, in addition to making any other unsubstantiated claims.
- Prohibited violations of the TSR, Holder Rule, and CPR. The settlement also included Holder Rule protections by prohibiting Saint James from selling any consumer credit contracts unless the buyer agrees, in writing, that its rights are subject to the borrowers’ claims and defenses against the defendants and Saint James notifies each borrower whose credit contract is being sold.