Approval of the settlement means thousands of former Trump University students will get most of their money back.
Trump University was created back in 2005 with the promise to help students get rich, just like Donald Trump. Costs for the university ranged from $1,495 for a “one-year apprenticeship” to $35,000, the price of the program’s most expensive class.
The program was not an accredited college. It offered no college credits or degrees and didn’t grade its students. Trump University was closed in 2010, when the New York Department of Education called for the university to stop operating without a license.
Advertisements for Trump University claimed that Trump had “hand-picked” the instructors. However, during a deposition, Trump was unable to recall the names of any of the instructors.
After realizing they had been scammed, nearly 4,000 former students submitted claims. Those who are eligible will receive about ninety percent of the money they lost.
The settlement was approved by Judge Gonzalo Curiel. During his presidential campaign, Trump sparked controversy with his comments about Curiel’s ethnicity, referring to the judge as “Spanish” or “Mexican,” though Curiel was born in the United States.
According to Sheri Winkelmann, a former student at Trump University, other students who lost money to the program signed up for Trump University because they were financially vulnerable.
“There (were) a lot of seniors there who had lost money in the stock market. . . so they were. . . trying to rebuild their retirement.” Also according to Winkelmann, there were veterans in attendance who were also trying to rebuild their finances.
If non-wealthy people were enrolling in Trump University, how were students able to pay for classes in the first place? Winkelmann explained that after processing the financial information of their students, the “mentors” began pressuring people to up their credit limits so they could pay for the seminars.
Hopefully, the settlement will help thousands of former Trump University students get their finances and lives back on track.