Former ITT Tech students get $3.9 billion in loan debt cancellation

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

U.S. Department of Education officials announced Tuesday they will wipe out about $3.9 billion in loan debt for students who attended ITT Technical Institute from January 2005 through its closure in September 2016.

Federal officials said the school used deceptive recruiting tactics and misled students about its ability to help graduates find high-paying jobs.

The for-profit school had four campuses in metro Atlanta. It had about 40,000 students nationwide when it closed.

Federal officials estimate about 208,000 borrowers will receive full loan discharges.

“It is time for student borrowers to stop shouldering the burden from ITT’s years of lies and false promises,” U.S. Secretary of Education 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 department has announced several efforts in recent weeks aimed at cracking down on for-profit schools. Last month, it announced proposed regulations that would adjust how private for-profit institutions determine at least 10% of their revenue doesn’t include federal aid. They would no longer be able to include aid for veterans or service members.

The department also announced Tuesday it formally notified DeVry University that it is required to pay millions of dollars for approved borrower defense applications, a process for former students who claim that the school violated state law or misled students.