Student Loans Canceled For Borrowers At Three Institutions

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Just weeks after the Department of Education erased half a billion dollar student debt The agency said Friday that it will allocate an additional $ 55.6 million to students at three other schools in relation to borrowers that their schools are scamming about.

Approximately 1,800 students – at Westwood College, Marinello Beauty Schools, and the Forensic Reporting Institute – will be cleared of all their debts under what is known as borrower protection programwhich allows borrowers to file debt forgiveness claims if they believe they have been cheated.

The Biden administration has now canceled more than $ 1.5 billion in loans to more than 92,000 borrowers under the program, a significant departure from the previous administration during which relief efforts have largely ceased. And the last approvals expanded the scope of assistance beyond a small group of schools.

Friday’s approvals were the first since 2017 to pay off debt in schools except Corinthian colleges, ITT Technical Institute and the American Career Institute. These three non-profit institutions are currently not operational.

“The Department will continue to contribute to the review and approval of borrower protection requirements quickly and fairly so that borrowers get the help they need and deserve,” said Miguel Cardona, Minister of Education. “We also hope that these permissions will serve as a warning to any organization engaging in such behavior that such misrepresentation of information is not acceptable.”

Former Westwood students made up the bulk of the aid delivered on Friday. The Department approved more than 1,600 claims from them, totaling approximately $ 53 million, involving two types of misrepresentation. The agency said that from 2002 until the school closed in 2015, Westwood misled students about their ability to transfer loans. A second group of borrowers who participated in the criminal justice program have been misled about their prospects for employment with Illinois law enforcement, the department said. Many agencies would not accept their loans, and borrowers had to accept minimum wage jobs instead of positions they thought they were trained for.

Another 200 lawsuit approvals have resulted in over $ 2.2 million in debt related to Marinello beauty schools. Students who attended school from 2009 until the school closed in 2016 said they were misled about the classes and tuition that should have been offered but never were. The department said that this made it “extremely difficult” for them to pass the mandatory state exams to obtain a license.

Ministry of Education officials also found widespread misstatements at the Institute of Judicial Reporting, which approved 18 claims totaling $ 340,000. The department found that from 1998 until it closed in 2006, the school misinformed borrowers about how long it would take to complete the program. Most of the students never finished.

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