For-profit college owner agrees to end $500M in student debt
06 January, 2019, 16:07
CONCORD, NH [Press Release] - Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald on Thursday announced that for-profit education company Career Education Corp.
The company misled students about the total cost of attendance, didn't disclose that some programs were not accredited and shared misleading job-placement rates, the attorney general found.
Participating in the settlement are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
As part of compliance monitoring under the settlement, Career Education agreed to record all online chats and phone calls with prospective and current students. The debt stems from institutional loans the company issued to students.
"For far too long, unscrupulous for-profit colleges have put money before people, engaged in deceptive recruiting practices, and left students with a burden of crushing debt while providing them with useless degrees that wouldn't lead them to gainful employment", Jepsen said. In one case, a federal judge sided with Ferguson and 18 other state attorneys general in their suit against the department for delaying the implementation of an Obama-era borrower defense rule.
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A total of 1,077 Kansans are eligible for student loan debt relief for a total amount of $2,142,116.
Career Education Corporation (CEC), headquartered in IL, has owned several for-profit schools, including Le Cordon Bleu, Briarcliffe College, Brooks Institute, Brown College, Harrington College of Design and International Academy of Design & Technology (later known as Sanford-Brown).
CEC agrees to forgo all efforts to collect amounts owed by former students living in the states participating in the agreement that either attended a CEC institution that closed before January 1, or whose final day of attendance at American InterContinental University or Colorado Technical University occurred on or before December 31, 2013. Both were in Tukwila. It made misleading statements or didn't disclose information to prospective students such as total costs, job placement and whether their credits would transfer, state attorneys general have alleged. The company had addressed most of its misleading practices at those two institutions by then, according to the Attorney General's Office. It will also have to provide a risk-free trial period for students who have less than 24 credit hours when they enter the program.
The company denies any allegations of wrongdoing or liability.
The deal was made with all states except California, which is negotiating with the company separately, and NY, which previously reached a deal with the company.
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