The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative
The company's logo
|Predecessor||Trump University (name changed to The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative in June 2010)|
|Founded||May 23, 2005(as Trump University)|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Parent||The Trump Organization|
The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative (formerly Trump University) is an online education company owned and founded by Donald Trump. A part of The Trump Organization, the company offers courses in real estate, asset management, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation, charging fees ranging from US$1,500 to US$35,000.
It is not an accredited university or college and does not confer college credits or degrees. In May 2011, the company was the subject of an inquiry by the New York Attorney General's office for "illegal business practices", which culminated in a lawsuit filed on August 24, 2013.
Foundation and subsequent name change
The company was founded on May 23, 2005. In June 2010, the institution officially changed its name from Trump University to The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, after the New York State Department of Education took the view that it was "misleading and even illegal" for the institution to call itself a university.
Allegations of impropriety
On August 24, 2013, the State of New York filed a $40 million civil suit against the institution (which had largely ceased operations in May 2011), alleging illegal business practices and claiming numerous "false promises" made by The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative and its representatives. Donald Trump denied the allegations, claiming the school has a 98% approval rating and said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is "a political hack looking to get publicity." The New York Times editorial board stated that "Mr. Schneiderman’s suit offers compelling evidence of a bait-and-switch scheme." Schneiderman accused Trump of misleading more than 5,000 people to pay up to $35,000 to learn his real estate investment techniques.
Trump has given conflicting stories. In his infomercial he said: “And honestly, if you don’t learn from them, if you don’t learn from me, if you don’t learn from the people that we’re going to be putting forward, and these are all people handpicked by me, then you’re just not going to make it in terms of world-class success.” He testified in a 2012 deposition that, contrary to the Trump University sales materials and statements he made in the infomercial to the media, he neither selected the instructors nor oversaw the curriculum.
In October 2014 a New York judge found Trump personally liable for the institution's violation of state education laws.
- Staff (April 19, 2010). "Trump University: No Longer a University?". The Huffington Post.
- Hindo, Brian (May 23, 2005). "Trump University: You're Wired! – The Donald Launches His Own Online 'Self-Directed Learning' Courses – And They Differ Mightily from the Usual Fare". BusinessWeek . Retrieved April 18, 2012.
- (registration required) Barbaro, Michael (May 19, 2011). "New York Attorney General Is Investigating Trump's For-Profit School". The New York Times.
- Levine, Greg (May 23, 2005). "Trump University Founded For Student 'Customers'". Forbes. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
- http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinehoward/2013/08/27/donald-trump-universitys-big-lesson-for-all-for-profit-schools/ Forbes forbes.com Donald Trump University Lawsuit Is Lesson For All For-Profit Colleges
- http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/16/us-trump-nyag-lawsuit-idUSKCN0I52MW20141016 Reuters reuters.com New York judge finds Donald Trump liable for unlicensed school
- http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/08/26/trump-entrepreneur-initiative-case/2700811/ USA Today Trump faces two-front legal fight over 'university'
- "Trump University Made False Claims, Lawsuit Says". The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
- Gormley, Michael. "Trump Calls NY Attorney General a 'Political Hack'". ABC News. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Editorial Board (August 26, 2013). "Inside Donald Trump’s University". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- Curran, Eddie (October 16, 2014). "New York judge finds Donald Trump liable for unlicensed school". Reuters. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- Karen Freifeld (February 1, 2016). "Trump University swindled me, says Iowa retiree". American Media Institute. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
- (Abstract; (subscription required) for full article) Beam, Alex (July 24, 2006). "The Relentless Pursuit of Trump U". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
- (registration required) . The International Herald Tribune. (Article about spam email from the institution.)
- Laszlo, Michael (undated). "Trump vs. Waterloo". michaellaszlo.com (blog). Retrieved April 18, 2012. (Blog post on the similarity of the Trump University logo to that of the University of Waterloo.)