Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Education company to stop collecting on NM student loans

For-profit college owner agrees to end $500M in student debt Hundreds of Iowans freed from student loan debt
Orlando Vargas | 06 January, 2019, 16:09

As a part of the agreement, the state of Iowa will also receive $257,142.86 of $5 million that will be paid to the states. Former students with questions about their eligibility may contact CEC by calling 844-783-8629 or emailing CECquestions@careered.com.

A major for-profit university has reached a settlement with 48 states and the District of Columbia that will force it to wipe out almost $500 million in debt incurred by thousands of its students across the country.

CEC has agreed to forgo collection of debts owed by students who either attended a CEC institution that closed before January 1, 2019, or whose final day of attendance at AIU or CTU occurred on or before December 31, 2013.

Schmidt, along with other Attorneys General, launched an investigation in 2014 after receiving numerous complaints from students. The for-profit education company based out of IL offers mostly online courses through InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University.

In Washington, the company operated a Sanford-Brown campus - previously known as the International Academy of Design and Technology - and a Le Cordon Bleu. Yet the company has experienced revenue declines in recent years, and its net loss widened by more than 70% year-over-year in 2017, to $31.9 million.

In a statement, Brnovich said the $22 million will help "thousands of students who were saddled with large debts and degrees that were less useful than CEC led its students to believe".

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A group of state attorneys general said CEC made misleading statements about its course offerings, costs, transferability of credits and job placement rates.

Company officials on Thursday said they deny any wrongdoing but called the settlement an "important milestone".

"CEC's practices were unfair to students as well as taxpayers who supported federal student loans that were destined to fail", says Miller. In July 2017, AG Healey led a multistate lawsuit against Secretary DeVos for abruptly rescinding the Borrower Defense Rule-a regulation that was created to hold abusive higher education institutions accountable for cheating students and taxpayers. The company did not disclose that some of the programs lacked the necessary professional accreditation, leaving students unable to obtain employment or the licensing they needed to continue in their fields. In June 2017, AG Healey joined 18 attorneys general in demanding that the Department stop delaying loan discharges for students victimized by predatory for-profit schools, including claims that have already been approved.

Of the $493 million in debt being wiped out, the greatest share comes from borrowers in Florida, which will get $68 million in relief, followed by Texas, with $51 million.

Handling this case for MA are Assistant Attorneys General Tim Hoitink and Jennifer Snow of the AG's Insurance and Financial Services Division.

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