Published: Oct 22, 2010 7:31 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 22, 2010 4:31 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida is investigating five private, for-profit colleges to determine if they engaged in unfair practices and misled students about financial aid.

Ryan Wiggins, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill McCollum, on Friday confirmed his office was conducting a civil investigation.

Wiggins said the investigation was in its infancy. It began in response to consumer complaints and a federal report that accused some for-profit schools of encouraging fraud and engaging in deceptive marketing practices.

The schools that McCollum's office is looking into are Kaplan Inc., University of Phoenix Inc., Argosy University of Florida Inc., Everest College and Medvance Institute Inc.

Most of the schools said they were cooperating with the investigation.