Student loan debt has been an ongoing conversation for decades, and nearly16,000 former students may get a bit of relief due to borrower defense claims cleared by the US Department of Education.
According to the website, former students will have $415 million of student loan debt erased. “Nearly 16,000 borrowers will receive $415 million in borrower defense to repayment discharges following the approval of four new findings and the continued review of claims.”
This includes 1,800 former DeVry University students who will receive “approximately $71.7 million in full borrower defense discharges.” It was determined the university gave widespread misleading information about job placement rates.
In addition, there will also be “$343.7 million in borrower defense discharges to almost 14,000 borrowers.” It was determined that “Westwood College and the nursing program at ITT Technical Institute, as well as recent findings about the criminal justice programs at Minnesota School of Business/Globe University and another $284.5 million in discharges to over 11,900 students who attended institutions such as Corinthian Colleges and Marinello Schools of Beauty whose applications were reviewed after earlier announcements of relief.”
As of now, 107,000 borrowers are said to have their student loan debts cleared totaling $2 billion.
“The Department remains committed to giving borrowers discharges when the evidence shows their college violated the law and standards,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Students count on their colleges to be truthful. Unfortunately, today’s findings show too many instances in which students were misled into loans at institutions or programs that could not deliver what they’d promised,” the statement read.
From 2008 to 2015, DeVry claimed to have a job placement rate of 90% for students who actively seek employment in their field of study, but it was actually 58%, according to the Department. The national campaign was called, “We Major in Careers,” and it led in branding DeVry as a “Career Placement University.”
“In fact, the institution’s actual job placement rate was around 58 percent. The Department found that more than half of the jobs included in the claimed 90 percent placement rate were held by students who obtained them well before graduating from DeVry and often before they even enrolled. These jobs were not attributable to a DeVry education and their inclusion was contrary to the plain language of the 90 percent claim. Moreover, DeVry excluded from its calculation large numbers of graduates who were in fact actively looking for work simply because they did not conduct a search in the manner that the University’s Career Services department preferred.”
FTC reached a settlement with DeVry for around $100 million in 2016 for similar allegations.
Roomies, y’all get your debts cleared?