Wednesday, March 24, 2021

HEI Investigation: EducationDynamics

EducationDynamics (“EDDY”) is a multichannel higher education marketer and lead generation company that services a number of for-profit and formerly for-profit online colleges, including American Intercontinental University, Colorado Technical Institute, South University, Purdue University Global (formerly Kaplan University), and University of Arizona Global (formerly Ashford University). [i]



EDDY’s operations include call centers in Boca Raton, Florida and Lenexa, Kansas where some education advisors are paid commissions for enrolling students. It appears that the call centers have been engaged in bait-and-switch tactics as consumers who are seeking work are enrolled in these schools.

Originally known as Halyard Education, EducationDynamics has faced allegations of being a predatory company for at least a decade. [ii] [iii] For more than a decade, the company, through a number of lead generation websites and tv commercials, brought hundreds of thousands of leads to the most predatory schools, including Corinthian Colleges, ITT Technical Institute, and Virginia College, all which have closed. In 2019 and 2020, EDDY purchased the assets of other dubious marketers, Thruline[iv] and Quinstreet. [v] [vi]

At least one source has indicated that Halyard and EducationDynamics purchased leads from Alec Defrawi, who was prosecuted by the FTC in 2016 for a job-education bait-and-switch scheme.[vii] While the recipients of the leads were not mentioned in the complaint, a comment on the FTC website also alluded to a relationship between Defrawi and EducationDynamics.[viii]



More recently, there is evidence on GlassDoor[ix] and Indeed[x] suggesting that EDDY has engaged in bait and switch tactics at its Boca Raton call center. Former employees have complained that the call center receives leads from people who believed they were applying for work, and that call center workers were required to enroll them in schools.


While the allegations were not as clear at the Kansas location, one EducationDynamics sales associates stated that they were getting “shady” and “uninterested” leads and that management was aware of the problem. The employee also noted that EDDY workers went under different company names to avoid scrutiny. 

[i] EducationDynamics History, Acquisitions, And Higher Ed Services
[ii] Sen. Durbin: Don't fall for college-in-your-pajamas trick | TheHill
[iii] Veterans could be first to pay as DeVos rolls back for-profit college oversight (nbcnews.com)
[iv] EducationDynamics Acquires Key Assets from Thruline Marketing
[v] EducationDynamics Acquires Assets of QuinStreet's Higher Education Vertical (prnewswire.com)
[vi] In 2012, Quinstreet was prosecuted by 20 state Attorneys General for deceiving veterans through its GIBill.com website. Attorneys general announce settlement with for-profit college marketer (insidehighered.com)
[vii] Robert Nolan of Halyard Capital Had Knowledge of Alec Difrawi Scams – scamFRAUDalert™ Report
[viii] Don’t quit your day job: FTC sues education lead generator for bogus job application process | Federal Trade Commission
[ix] EducationDynamics Reviews | Glassdoor
[x] Working at Education Dynamics: Employee Reviews | Indeed.com


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