Transportation Center for Excellence
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The Transportation Center for Excellence (TCE) is located at 11098 Clark Road, Inver Grove Heights, MN. 55077. This also happens to be the same address listed for another trucking school, Heavy Metal Truck Training (HMTT). This is significant because Heavy Metal Truck Training was started in 2007 by Gary Pressley, former CEO of Academic Funding Group (AFG). Academic Funding Group was the preferred lender for Globe Education Network schools.
In 2007, New York Attorney General investigated illegal inducements and quid-pro-quo relationships between lenders and college financial aid offices. Often times, schools would receive kickbacks in return for listing a lender as a preferred lender and directing their students to that company's loans. In July of 2007, the Department of Education sent out warning letters to 921 colleges and universities participating in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program and had one lender holding at least 80 percent of their students' federal loans.
Two Globe Education Network (GEN) schools received such warning letters from the Department of Education: Broadview University (then known as Utah Career College) and Minnesota School of Cosmetology. At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, preferred lender, Academic Funding Group (AFG) held 95% of the loan volume at that institution. Broadview University/ Utah Career College, wound up on a more narrow list of 291 schools which directed 100% of the school's loan volume to one lender. In this case, 100% of the Broadview University/ Utah Career College's loan volume went to AFG.
This should be no surprise almost all student- borrowers at these institutions chose preferred lender, AFG. According to former New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, "lenders on preferred lender lists typically receive up to 90% of the loans borrowed by the institutions’ students and parents."
Academic Funding Group was a preferred lender for Stafford Loans, as well as “supplemental loans” at Globe Education Network schools. At the time, AFG offered this supplemental funding through the Educational Opportunities (EdOp) Loan which can be seen in the picture above. According to the Whois directory of previous owners, EdOpLoan.com was registered to the then CEO and president of Academic Funding Group (AFG), Gary Pressley from 2003 to 2007 with his AFG email address even listed as the contact email.
In 2007, at the height of Cuomo’s investigation into illegal inducements from student lenders, the website was transferred from AFG to American Accounts & Advisers, a debt collection agency which used the site to offer institutional loans at 18% interest and loans originated by owner of the Globe Education Network schools, Terry Myhre.
It was also around this time that AFG stopped making these loans and the company has since gone out of business. However, former AFG president and CEO, Gary Pressley, certainly seems to have stayed in the education field. In July of 2007, Pressley opened American Truck Training North, inc, which also does business as Heavy Metal Truck Training, a for-profit college just outside Minneapolis and Saint Paul. As noted above, Heavy Metal Truck Training (HMTT), also happens to have the same address as The Transportation Center for Excellence (TCE), a Globe Education Network school.
What relationship exists between the Globe Education Network and former CEO of preferred lender, Gary Pressley? One thing is for sure, it is certainly too close for comfort.