Political Fact Check: The Truth Behind Trump University

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Political pundits are talking about a fracture in the Republican Party as Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio all have very different visions. Even if the GOP is split, Republican Super PACs are coming together, airing 6,000 ads blasting front-runner Trump in the final two weeks before Super Tuesday.

But was the ad blitz too little, too late?

Donald Trump Presidential AnnouncementTed Cruz photo from his campaign twitter accountMarco Rubio

One ad against Trump, called "Scam," highlights the headline-making and eyebrow-raising Trump University. It begins with a narrator explaining, "At Trump University, we teach success. That's what it's all about. Success. It's going to happen to you." What is Trump University? Founded in 2005, the "university" was an online education company owned and operated by Trump himself. For $1,500 to $35,000, aspiring entrepreneurs could sign up for courses in real estate, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation.

The ad continues, "Former students say Trump University was a scam. Costing up to 35,000 for an unlicensed and illegal school that offered no actual degrees." This is true. The New York State Education Department warned Trump as early as 2005 that the use of the word "university" violated state law. And in 2014, a New York judge found Trump as early as 2005 that the use of the word "university" violated state law. And in 2014, a New York judge found Trump personally liable for his "school's" violation of state education laws, saying Trump University is not a university, it's a company. And companies are NOT licensed to give our college credits or degrees.

The ad then concludes, "Now accused of intentionally misleading thousands of students, Trump is facing massive lawsuits for fraud and what one attorney general calls fraudulent, illegal, and deceptive conduct." This is true. There are currently 3 class-action lawsuits filed against the University from 150 former students, who argue they didn't get the education they were promised and never earned any degree. Trump University is also under fire from New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who's filed a $40 million civil lawsuit against the "school."

Trump has vigorously defended his school on the campaign trail, touting his University's 98% approval rating among former students. But those evaluations were conducted during an introductory seminar at Trump University, so many students say they gave the University positive ratings, still believing they'd eventually get long-term benefits from the program.