CT has brokered an estimated $493.7 million settlement with an IL for-profit educator that will spare about 180,000 students - more than 1,400 of them here - from allegedly predatory debts incurred when they enrolled in that educator's national network of trade/professional schools, authorities say.
The Illinois-based Career Education Corporation announced the deal Thursday but denies any wrongdoing.
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. 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 Illinois-based corporation agreed to pay $493.6 million to almost 175,000 students nationwide, after an investigation by the Washington State Attorney General and 47 other states found it used deceptive and misleading practices to attract students. 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.
Nationwide, the company is required to pay back nearly $500 million in loan debt to over 66,000 former students.
"Students who borrow for higher education are investing in their future", Stein said. Students will also have the debt removed from their credit reports. The company also previously operated other schools outside of Idaho including Briarcliffe College, Brooks Institute, Brown College, Harrington College of Design, International Academy of Design & Technology, Le Cordon Bleu, Missouri College and Sanford-Brown.
CEC agrees to forgo any and all efforts to collect amounts owed by former students living in the states participating in the agreement. The company has closed or phased out many of its schools over the past ten years.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says $1.4 million owed by 715 Iowa students who took online courses will not be collected.
Nationally, about 180,000 students will benefit from the settlement. The company did not disclose that some of the programs lacked the necessary professional accreditation, leaving students unable to obtain employment or the licensing they needed to continue in their fields.
"The current gainful employment rules could stay in effect as long as July 2020".
"This settlement will help hundreds of hardworking New Mexicans continue to reach their educational goals and provide for their families", Balderas said in a statement.