The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday that it would cancel about $4 billion in the remaining 208,000 federal student loans for borrowers who attended ITT Technical Institute from 2005 until the for-profit college chain dissolved in 2016.
Officials said the debt forgiveness comes after the department reviewed extensive internal records, testimony from ITT managers and recruiters, and first-hand accounts from borrowers allegedly defrauded by the quality of the institute’s programs.
“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.
After about 50 years of service, ITT Tech came under fire in 2004 after allegations of fraud, deceptive marketing, predatory lending that left students bogged down by massive debt, and “widespread and pervasive misrepresentations related to the ability of students to get a job or transfer credits,” officials said.
The Department of Education also announced Tuesday that officials formally notified DeVry University to pay back $24 million of approved borrower defense claims. The borrower defense program discharges some or all of federal student loan debt for students who attended…