Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Idaho students will receive $850,000 in settlement with higher ed vendor

Idaho students will receive $850,000 in settlement with higher ed vendor

(CEC) has agreed to stop collecting more than $11 million in debt from almost 3,000 students in MA and will reform its practices following allegations of misleading prospective students and predatory enrollment tactics.

A total of 179,529 students across the nation who attended CEC schools will receive about $493.7 million in debt relief as part of the agreement between the for-profit college and Attorney General Dana Nessel, along with attorneys general from 47 other states. 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. The attorneys general alleged that CEC pressured its employees to enroll students, made misleading statements and failed to disclose information to prospective students on total costs, transferability of credits, program offerings, and job placement rates.

Career Education Corporation (CEC) says they are going to reform their recruiting and enrollment practices.

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.

CEC offers online courses through American InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University. It has closed many of its other schools over the past decade, including Le Cordon Bleu North America, Briarcliffe College and Sanford-Brown. Over the past 10 years, CEC has closed or phased out many of its schools.

Students who already paid off their loans through CEC are not included in the settlement.

The Schaumburg, Ill. -based company also has agreed to pay $5 million to the states. Some Washingtonians may still be attending CEC schools through online programs.

Nationally, about 180,000 students will benefit from the settlement.

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Former students with debt relief eligibility questions can contact CEC at 847-781-3600 or visit the CEC website.

Students do no need to take any action to receive relief. Over the last two years, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has sought to loosen regulation and reverse policies created under the previous administration.

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

Assistant Attorney General Craig Rader handled the case for Washington.

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

A total of 1,077 Kansans are eligible for student loan debt relief for a total amount of $2,142,116.

Handling this case for MA are Assistant Attorneys General Tim Hoitink and Jennifer Snow of the AG's Insurance and Financial Services Division.

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