November 13, 2019
Carson City, NV- Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford called on the U.S. Department of Education to immediately forgive the federal student loans of eligible former ITT Tech students as required by federal regulation, and to explain what action the Department has taken to date to comply with the regulation.
A coalition of 22 attorneys general, including AG Ford, sent a letter to Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer Mark Brown questioning whether the Department has complied with the regulation to forgive student loans of former eligible ITT Tech students. The letter noted that in May 2019, the Department estimated approximately 52,000 former ITT Tech students were eligible for nearly $833 million in closed-school discharge relief. However, recent information obtained from Congress indicates that the Department granted discharges to approximately 7,000 former ITT Tech student borrowers-amounting to less than $95 million in relief. The attorneys general are pressing federal regulators to clarify whether all eligible ITT students are now receiving the automatic discharges to which they are entitled and to provide information sufficient to confirm that they have not excluded deserving ITT Tech students from the program.
"School closures often leave students empty-handed--with no diploma, no enhanced career prospects and mounting debt," said AG Ford. "These students deserve much-needed relief, and we're asking the Department of Education to do its job and take action for these students."
Federal law requires the U.S. Department of Education to automatically forgive the student loans of students attending within 120 days of a school's closure for students who did not obtain their degree and have not transferred credits into the same program at another school. The Secretary of Education can extend the 120-day window for good cause, and the coalition of attorneys general have asked the Secretary to expand the window given the number of problems that long predated ITT Tech's closure. The letter also asks for details about the number of students whose loans were discharged and the methodology the Department is using to implement the automatic closed school discharge. The Department has come under frequent fire from attorneys general and the Courts for its handling of other programs designed to provide student relief.
In June, AG Ford announced a multistate settlement with Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC, which offered loans to finance students' tuition at ITT Tech. The agreement resulted in $3,437,978.59 in debt relief for 335 former ITT Tech students in Nevada.