Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Hundreds of Iowans freed from student loan debt

Hundreds of Iowans freed from student loan debt

CEC will forgo $493.7 million in debts owed by 179,529 students nationally, including approximately $67.8 million in debts owed by Florida students.

"Today's settlement ensures the company treats students the way they should have been all along - with honesty and respect for their futures", Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said, according to the Associated Press.

Career Education Corporation now offers primarily online courses through American InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University.

The attorneys general alleged the company had "placed significant pressure on its employees to enroll students and engaged in unfair and deceptive practices by making misleading statements to prospective students".

The Illinois-based corporation agreed to pay $493.6 million to almost 175,000 students nationwide, after an investigation by the Washington State Attorney General and 47 other states found it used deceptive and misleading practices to attract students.

Almost 180,000 students who took classes offered at Career Education Corp.'s dozens of campuses over the past 30 years won't have to repay loans they took out with the company.

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 denied the allegations, but agreed to resolve the claims through this multistate settlement, Carl said.

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In addition to the debt relief, which will be announced to affected students by mail, the terms of the settlement require increased transparency from CEC and a one-page disclosure sheet about costs, potential debt, earnings for relevant professions and job placement rates.

Notify credit-reporting agencies of the debt relief to remove the debt from students' credit reports.

Under the terms of the agreement, CEC will pay $5 million to the states, including $50,000 to MA.

The settlement comes as the U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos has tried to roll back regulations protecting students, including those at for-profit schools.

As a result, some students could not obtain professional licenses and incurred debts that they could not repay nor discharge.

"The current gainful employment rules could stay in effect as long as July 2020".

The agreement with attorneys general in 48 states plus the District of Columbia mandates added disclosures to students, including a new interactive online financial disclosure tool; bars misrepresentations to prospective students; prohibits enrollment in unaccredited programs; and institutes an extended period when new students can withdraw with no financial obligation.

Students who attended a CEC school that closed before January 1, 2019, or who stopped attending AIU or CTU before December 31, 2013, qualify for the debt relief.

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