Student loans: DOE announces more federal student loans to be forgiven

The Department of Education on Tuesday announced plans to discharge nearly $4 billion in federal student loans for students who attended ITT Technical Institute.

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According to the DOE, the government is forgiving $3.9 billion in federal student loans for 208,000 borrowers who attended the school.

ITT Tech closed in September 2016. The discharge applies to any remaining federal student loans that the borrowers received to attend the school from January 2005.

“This includes borrowers who have not yet applied for a borrower defense to repayment discharge. These borrowers will have the federal student loans they received to attend ITT discharged without any additional action on their part,” the agency announced on Tuesday morning.

The department charged the institute with “lying about the programmatic accreditation of ITT’s associate degree in nursing,” and said it was found to have “engaged in widespread and pervasive misrepresentations related to the ability of students to get a job or transfer credits.”

“It is time for student borrowers to stop shouldering the burden from ITT’s years of lies and false promises,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “The evidence shows that for years, ITT’s leaders intentionally misled students about the quality of their programs in order to profit off federal student loan programs, with no regard for the hardship this would cause.”

The loan forgiveness for ITT is the latest announced by the administration, which so far has approved nearly $32 billion in student loan relief for more than 1.6 million borrowers.

The DOE also announced the approval of loan discharges for just under 100 borrowers who enrolled in the Medical Assistant or Medical Billing & Coding Program at Kaplan Career Institute’s Kenmore Square location in Massachusetts from July 1, 2011, to Feb. 16, 2012, when the institution stopped enrolling new students.

The Department on Monday formally notified DeVry University that the institution is liable to the Department for nearly $24 million for approved borrower defense claims. This recoupment effort follows the Department’s announcement in February 2022 that it had approved claims after finding that, from 2008 through 2015, DeVry University had repeatedly misled prospective students across the country.

President Joe Biden has promised to announce whether he will forgive federal student loans for other borrowers by the end of August.

Biden had been pressed to forgive up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt. He said he would not consider that amount, but has indicated he is considering forgiving up to $10,000 in student loan debt.

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