Department of Education approves $415 million in student loan forgiveness for certain students

The U.S. Department of Education has approved $415 million in borrower defense claims to students whose schools have misled them into loans.

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The announcement means they will not have to repay loans made with taxpayer money.

Some 16,000 former students will have their loans forgiven.

The students who will have loans forgiven attended DeVry University, Westwood College, ITT Technical Institute, Minnesota School of Business/Globe University, Corinthian Colleges and Marinello Schools of Beauty

“When colleges and career schools put their own interests ahead of students, we will not look the other way,” Federal Student Aid COO Richard Cordray said in a statement Wednesday.

The Department is also in the process of identifying cases that were previously denied but could be reopened and approved based upon this additional evidence.

Here is what the DOE said about the schools:

DeVry University

The latest round of loan forgiveness brings the total amount approved by the department to approximately $2 billion for more than 107,000 borrowers.

According to the DOE, DeVry is accused of inaccurately claiming that 90% of its graduates who sought employment obtained jobs in their fields of study within six months of graduating.

The DOE said the actual percentage was around 58%, and school officials allegedly knew about the inaccurate statistic for years.

Around 1,800 former DeVry University students will be forgiven $71.7 million.

The Education Department said it expects the number of approvals from the New York school to grow.

Westwood College

The DOE said that Westwood College falsely reported over 13 years that its graduates had job placement rates of 80% or higher “and that graduates would make salaries of $50,000 or more.”

The school also allegedly said if students did not get a job placement within six months of graduation, it would help pay their bills.

“The Department has no evidence Westwood made good on its pledge,” the Education Department said. “In fact, its job placement rates were grossly inflated, and its salary promises were based upon national federal data while actual Westwood graduates often made half or as little as one-fourth of those amounts.”

Some 1,600 borrowers from the school will be forgiven $53.1 million.

ITT Technical Institute

Around 130 students from ITT Technical Institute will have $3.1 million of their debt forgiven, the DOE said. The department found the school to have inaccurately told students that its nursing program would acquire programmatic accreditation.

It is the fourth finding against the school.

Minnesota School of Business/Globe University

The school misled students in its criminal justice programs by telling them that when they graduated, they could become Minnesota police officers or parole officers.

DOE found the program did not have the proper accreditation or certifications for those at the school to become police or parole officers.

The Education Department approved $3 million in discharges for 270 students.

Corinthian Colleges, Marinello Schools of Beauty

More than 11,900 students who attended Corinthian Colleges and Marinello Schools of Beauty will receive $284.5 million in discharges.

“Students count on their colleges to be truthful,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said. “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.”

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