Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Class Action?
  2. What is this Lawsuit about?
  3. What type of text message ads were sent?
  4. Why is there a settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am in the Settlement Class?
  6. What does the Settlement provide?
  7. How much will my payment be?
  8. When will I get my payment?
  9. How do I get benefits?
  10. What am I giving up if I stay in the Class?
  11. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  12. Do I have a lawyer in the case?
  13. How will the lawyers be paid?
  14. How do I get out of the Settlement?
  15. If I did not exclude myself, can I sue the Defendant for the same thing later?
  16. If I excluded myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?
  17. How do I object to the Settlement?
  18. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?
  19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
  20. Where do I get more information?





1. What is a Class Action?

In a class action, one or more people called class representatives (in this case, Sergio Rojas and Sheila Fahey who is a Plaintiff in a related class action) sue on behalf of a group or a “class” of people who have similar claims. In a class action, the Court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.

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2. What is this Lawsuit about?

This lawsuit claims that unsolicited text message advertisements promoting Defendant’s educational programs were sent to consumers from the abbreviated phone number 21021. The lawsuit claims that Defendant violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act because consumers did not consent to receive these text message advertisements. The Defendant denies it violated any law.

The Court has not determined who is right. Rather, the Parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation.

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3. What type of text message ads were sent?

The lawsuit claims that on August 27, 2008 certain consumers were sent one of the following text messages:

  • IMAGINE HAVING A JOB U LUV! CREATIVES DO SO CAN U. REPLY WITH “Y” TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ACADEMY. BY CEC. STD / OTHER CHARGES MAY APPLY. STOP 2 END
  • IMAGINE A JOB WHERE U CAN USE UR IMAGINATION AND GET PAID 4 IT! REPLY Y TO HEAR HOW U CAN BEGIN 2 EARN UR DEGREE TODAY! BY CEC. STD OTH CHGS APPLY. STOP 2 END

These text messages were sent from short code “21021.” A short code is an abbreviated telephone number that can be used by companies to send text messages in bulk. This short code will appear on the cell phone that received these text messages as well as on your cell phone bill.

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4. Why is there a settlement?

The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiff or the Defendant should win this case. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation, and Class Members will get compensation now rather than, if at all, years from now.

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5. How do I know if I am in the Settlement Class?

The Court decided that everyone who fits this description is a member of the Settlement Class:

Anyone in the United States and its territories who on August 27, 2008 was sent the following text messages for Career Education Corporation:

  • IMAGINE HAVING A JOB U LUV! CREATIVES DO SO CAN U. REPLY WITH “Y” TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ACADEMY. BY CEC. STD / OTHER CHARGES MAY APPLY. STOP 2 END
  • IMAGINE A JOB WHERE U CAN USE UR IMAGINATION AND GET PAID 4 IT! REPLY Y TO HEAR HOW U CAN BEGIN 2 EARN UR DEGREE TODAY! BY CEC. STD OTH CHGS APPLY. STOP 2 END

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6. What does the Settlement provide?

Defendant has created a Settlement Fund totaling $19,999,400. The cost to administer the Settlement, the cost to inform people about the Settlement, as well as attorneys’ fees and payments to the Class Representatives will also come out of these funds (see Question 13). The amount remaining after deducting these costs will be paid to eligible Class Members who submitted valid claims.

Protection from Future Unauthorized Messages: Defendant has agreed to not send text messages to consumers who have not given their prior express consent to receive text messages. Additionally, Defendant will be required, and/or they must require their business partners, to maintain all records of such consent for four years.

You can read a detailed description of the future protection applicable to Defendant in the Settlement Agreement.

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7. How much will my payment be?

If you are member of the Settlement Class, and the Court gives final approval to the Settlement, you may be entitled to receive up to $200. The amount of your exact payment cannot be calculated at this time. Your payment will depend on the total number of valid claims that are filed. The Class contains approximately 99,997 members. Your payment may be reduced if the amount required to pay all claims made by the Settlement Class exceeds the amount available to Class Members (after paying fees and expenses from the Settlement Fund).

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8. When will I get my payment?

You should receive a check from the Settlement Administrator within 60-90 days after the Settlement has been finally approved and/or after any appeals have been resolved in favor of the Settlement. Final approval was granted on October 25, 2012. All checks will expire and become void 90 days after they are issued. Any uncashed checks issued from the Settlement Fund will be donated to charitable or non-profit organizations approved by the Court.

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9. How do I get benefits?

If you are a Class Member and you wanted to participate in the Settlement, you must have completed and submitted a truthful Claim Form by December 7, 2012.

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10. What am I giving up if I stay in the Class?

If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue the Defendant for the claims being resolved by this Settlement. The specific claims you are giving up against the Defendant are described in Section 3 of the Settlement Agreement. You will be “releasing” the Defendant and all related people as described in Section 1.30 of the Settlement Agreement. Unless you excluded yourself (see Question 14), you "released" the claims, regardless of whether you submit a claim or not. The Settlement Agreement is available through the “Court Documents” link on the website.

The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions you can talk to the lawyers listed in Question 17 for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this means.

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11. What happens if I do nothing at all?

If you do nothing, you won’t get any benefits from this Settlement. But, unless you excluded yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.

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12. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

The Court has appointed Jay Edelson, Myles McGuire, and Ryan D. Andrews of Edelson McGuire, LLC to be the attorneys representing the Settlement Class. They are called “Class Counsel.” They believe, after conducting an extensive investigation, that the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your expense.

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13. How will the lawyers be paid?

Class Counsel will petition the Court for up to 33% of the Settlement Fund for attorneys’ fees and expenses for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the Settlement in this matter. Defendant may argue that Class Counsel is entitled to less than this amount. The Court will make a decision as to the proper amount. Under the Settlement Agreement, any amount awarded to Class Counsel will be paid out of the Settlement Fund. On October 25, 2012, the Court approved the Fee Award to Class Counsel from the Settlement Fund in the amount of $3,500,000.

Subject to approval by the Court, Defendant has agreed to pay $30,000 to the Class Representatives from the Settlement Fund for their services in helping to settle this case. On October 25, 2012, the Court approved the payment by Defendant from the Settlement Fund of $30,000 to the Class Representatives.

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14. How do I get out of the Settlement?

The deadline to request exclusion from the Settlement was September 25, 2012.

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15. If I did not exclude myself, can I sue the Defendant for the same thing later?

No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up any right to sue the Defendant for the claims being resolved by this Settlement. The exclusion deadline was September 25, 2012.

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16. If I excluded myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?

No. If you excluded yourself, do not submit a Claim Form to ask for benefits.

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17. How do I object to the Settlement?

The deadline to object to the Settlement was September 25, 2012. If you’re a Class Member, you had the option to object to the Settlement and give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider views submitted via timely objection.

Objections must have been mailed to these three different places:

Court
The Hon Virginia M. Kendall
c/o Clerk of the Court
Everett McKinley Dirksen
United States Courthouse
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604
Class Counsel
Myles McGuire
Edelson McGuire, LLC
350 North LaSalle St
Suite 1300
Chicago, Illinois 60654
Defenant’s Counsel
Christopher B. Wilson
Perkins Coie LLP
131 South Dearborn St.
Suite 1700
Chicago, Illinois
60603-5559

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18. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?

Objecting simply means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You had the option to object only if you stayed in the Class. Excluding yourself from the Class is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class. If you excluded yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

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19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The Court granted Final Approval to this Settlement on October 25, 2012, further to the hearing at the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60604. The purpose of the hearing was for the Court to determine whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class; to consider Class Counsel’s request for up to 33% of the Settlement Fund for attorneys’ fees and expenses; and to consider the request for an incentive award to the Class Representatives in the amount of $30,000.

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20. Where do I get more information?

The Notice summarizes the Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement on this website. You may also write with questions to Rojas v. CEC Settlement Administrator, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 9838, Dublin, OH 43017-5738. You can call the Settlement Administrator at 1-800-905-7056 or Class Counsel at 1-866-354-3015, if you have any questions. Before doing so, however, please read the full Notice carefully. You may also find additional information elsewhere on this website.

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Important Dates
DateDeadline
December 7, 2012
[Passed]
Claim Form Deadline
(postmarked)
September 25, 2012
[Passed]
Exclusion Deadline
(postmarked)
September 25, 2012
[Passed]
Objection Deadline
(postmarked)
October 23, 2012
at 9:00 a.m.
[Approved]
Final Approval Hearing

Your Options

  • To find out details regarding the settlement, please consult the Notice