The Department of Education Continues to Erase Debt of Former Students of Predatory For-Profit Universities


By Mackenzie McCoy

On June 1, 2022, the Department of Education announced they would cancel all remaining loans for students who attended the now-defunct Corinthian College. This cancellation will affect roughly 560,000 students and will result in $5.8 billion in loans discharged. The Department of Education found that Corinthian mislead students on many important issues, including graduation and job placement rates. This was just one of many cases where for-profit postsecondary educational institutions were found to have defrauded students and have been forced to cease operation and pay damages to students on top of the loan forgiveness efforts headed by the Biden-Harris Administration.

Another bad actor in the for-profit college arena, ITT Technical Institute, who closed its doors in September 2016 due to similar allegations of misconduct, was among institutions like Corinthian regarding student loan forgiveness. On August 16, 2022, the Department of Education announced that similar to Corinthian College, eligible ITT Tech students would have their student loans erased. This debt relief will reach 208,000 students and result in $3.9 billion in loans discharged.

The final bad actor addressed in this publication is Westwood College, another institution brought down in 2016 due to widespread misrepresentation. On August 30, 2022, the Department of Education announced $1.5 billion in debt relief for 79,000 former Westwood College students. At the time of this announcement, the Department of Education has erased $14.5 billion in loans from 1.1 million students of predatory for-profit postsecondary institutions.

The tides are changing for these formerly profitable institutions as bad actors are being forced to cease operations. Holding the parties responsible for the abuses accountable is the next step toward reforming the entire for-profit postsecondary educational industry.


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