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Le Cordon Bleu settles suit with former students

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Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon, is to its former students what a picture in a fancy recipe book is to the person cooking the meal: not quite it.

The now-defunct culinary school must pay back 44% of its former students’ tuition following the settlement of a decade-long legal battle against the school, which advertised itself as highly selective and prestigious, but in reality offered low-quality materials and provided training that only qualified graduates for entry-level, low-paid positions, Portland’s KGW8 news reported Monday.

"I'm a shift supervisor for Round Table Pizza, and for a year and a half I was at Subway managing over there," Carrie Rios, a 2008 graduate, told the station. It's a far cry from her dream of owning her own restaurant or being a chef, promises made when she applied for $40,000 in loans to pay for her schooling, she said.

The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of 2,200 students at the for-profit cooking school and its parent company, Career Education Corporation, alleging the parent company encouraged students to take out predatory loans because it had a secret deal with loan company Sallie Mae to overcharge students by 44%, the news station reported.

Le Cordon Bleu closed all of its 17 campuses nationwide in 2017, the station reported.