Some AZ Students Eligible For Millions In Debt Relief

Some AZ Students Eligible For Millions In Debt Relief

A group of state attorneys general said CEC made misleading statements about its course offerings, costs, transferability of credits and job placement rates.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that his office along with 47 other states and the District of Columbia has reached a settlement with Career Education Corporation, a for-profit company that operated Collins College, Harrington College of Design, Le Cordon Bleu and several other schools.

More than 6,000 Arizonans who attended certain for-profit schools and were deceived about the cost of their education are now eligible for $22 million in debt relief. The schools stopped enrolling new students in 2015 and closed, although some Washington students may have continued attending Career Education Corporation schools online. The states say CEC used "emotionally charged language emphasizing the pain in prospective students' lives to pressure them into enrolling", misrepresented how school credits could be transferred to other schools and told admissions counselors to withhold important information about tuition costs.

David Carl, spokesman for the Office of the Attorney General, said that because of the unfair and deceptive practices, students enrolled in CEC schools who "would not have otherwise enrolled, could not obtain professional licensure, and were saddled with substantial debts that they could not repay nor discharge".

Career Education Corp., a for-profit college based in Schaumburg, Ill., has vowed to fix its recruiting and enrollment practices and dismiss almost $13.9 million in student debt owed by 5,584 MI students.

It also mandates the establishment of a "risk-free trial period", mandatory orientation in study skills, and financial and computer literacy for some new students. "We have remained steadfast in our belief that we can work with the attorneys general to demonstrate the quality of our institutions and our commitment to students".

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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.

Nationally, the average individual debt relief will be about $2,750 per student.

The company has not yet finalized agreements with the attorneys general of California or NY. During that time the company was "under near constant scrutiny from accreditors and law enforcement entities", according to a U.S. Senate report that helped prompt the lawsuit against it by the states.

A spokesperson for Stein says numerous students affected here attended CEC schools in other states.

Thursday's settlement comes as for-profit colleges have been given more regulatory leeway by the Trump administration, in contrast to the Obama administration's crackdown on the industry. Over the last two years, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has sought to loosen regulation and reverse policies created under the previous administration.

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