Lawsuit Targets DCCS Members for using FAFSA for Student Aid

December 13, 2019

Mary and Bryan Nelson filed a lawsuit May 2019 in Federal court alleging DCCS leaders and members followed a pattern of fraud when applying for federal student aid through the FAFSA program.  The lawsuit alleges students were directed by parents and leaders to apply for aid without listing both parents in an attempt to receive additional aid they were not qualified for.  

After reading the complaint, many Co-op members were quick to point out the FAFSA website's instructions direct applicants not to list parents who do not live with them more than 50% of the time.  The Nelsons included a copy of the website instructions in the lawsuit, seemingly contradicting their own complaint.

The complaint also contains allegations of fraud against in-home day cares and other assistance based programs which members were quick to deny outright.

The Salt Lake Tribune also reports that Chuck Lepper, SLCC vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, does not plan on launching any additioanl reviews at this time.  Lepper states, “At a minimum, two employees review every student file flagged for verification to ensure quality assurance in our processes", ensuring compliance with federal aid guidelines.

For current and former DCCS students, if you are having trouble paying for college, if you feel you’ve been wrongfully barred from receiving aid you are legally entitled to, or if you feel you’ve been wrongfully discriminated against as a student because of your association with the DCCS, please contact a DCCS representative for assistance, we’d like to hear your story.

DCCS Press Response:

For decades, the DCCS has encouraged its members to be well-educated, well-informed, independent thinkers.

We strongly encourage all members to strictly adhere to every legal guideline when operating their businesses, including daycares, and when applying for all need based assistance, including financial aid for students.  By our latest survey, the majority of DCCS college students were not using government funded financial aid, including many who would qualify if they had applied.  Regardless, all those applying should do so legally.

In the past, we have worked closely with DWS, DOE and financial aid counselors at local colleges and universities to ensure proper training and that all applications adhered to every guideline.  We will continue to do so.

Nevertheless, waves of audits of State taxes, Federal taxes, corporate taxes, DWS, SNAP, WIC and regulatory compliance in daycares among other things, have been levied against individuals and corporations with known or suspected ties to the DCCS.  Over the last 4 years, these audits have occurred for DCCS members at a rate 9.5 times higher than the average population.  Each time turning up no significant violations or nothing at all.

This is nothing more than a continued attempt in a long history to keep DCCS members from accessing education and services every other US citizen is legally entitled to.  Our goal of an educated, well-informed population goes against the popular narrative for our culture and there is a concerted effort to keep this false narrative alive.  Businesses and individuals have the autonomy to choose and operate as they see fit as evidenced by a huge diversity of industry and management styles among members.  No one would accept the guilty-by-association view in any other culture that has been adopted by the public for ours.

Fortunately, our population has already attained a higher graduation rate for High School and Associates Degrees for men and women in the DCCS.  Comparable graduation rates have been attained by our bachelor’s and advanced degrees students when compared to the State of Utah and US, despite an uphill battle of discrimination against our students.

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