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Choosing a medical school is a big decision, and lesser-known schools work hard to get your attention. Some set themselves apart by boasting about high first-time pass rates on standardized medical license tests, and high residency match rates. But what if their claims aren’t actually true? That happened with Saint James School of Medicine — and that’s why the FTC is taking action today.

Thanks to a settlement with the FTC, Saint James School of Medicine will pay more than $1.2 million to students, both in refunds and debt cancellation. That’s the price of recruiting students by lying about their chances of success both in passing a big medical school standardized test, and in matching with a residency program after graduating.

What exactly did Saint James say? Among other things, they claimed their test pass rate was over 93% (it’s actually 35%), and their residency match rate was over 83% (it’s actually 63%). Not only are those advertised rates lies, but it turns out Saint James skewed the test results by only letting students take the test if they first passed a practice exam even though there's no practice exam requirement for taking the test.

If you went to Saint James School of Medicine between 2016 and 2022, you might be eligible for a refund. No need to apply or submit a claim to get a payment — the FTC will reach out directly to anyone who’s eligible. Watch this space for more info, and sign up for email updates from the FTC.

Before enrolling in school, check out Choosing a College: Questions to Ask. And, to see what people are saying about schools you’re considering, search online for the school’s name plus words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.”

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Hareg Mismaku
April 15, 2022

Thank you very much. This is a great warning! Before spending time, energy and money.

Observer 360
April 15, 2022

Where is this school? That should be in the story.

FTC Staff
April 15, 2022

In reply to by Observer 360

The Federal Trade Commission took action against the for-profit medical school in the Caribbean and its Illinois-based operators. Follow the link to the press release in the first paragraph.

Angeline Smith
April 21, 2022

In reply to by Observer 360

I agree about giving more information about the school. What is the "secret"?

S. Lewis
April 15, 2022

Thanks for this information. But, it omits stating where Saint James School of Medicine located.

April 21, 2022

It is great we have an agency like the FTC to continue fact checking false statements in promotional efforts. I, for one, am appreciative!

April 25, 2022

Where is Saint James School of Medicine?

April 21, 2022

hi I attend the school, can I please know how this began? How this process began and who started it?

April 21, 2022

What started the FTC to look into this matter? I attend this school. Why all of a sudden?

Chelsea Sheridan
April 21, 2022

Is there a number or email we can contact in regards to this?
I believe we qualify for the compensation, though the contact info we would have provided upon admission is no longer valid so concerned there was an attempt to contact us.