Project on Predatory Student Lending

Representing students against the for-profit college industry

About the Project

The Project is part of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School (LSC), a community law office and clinical teaching site of the law school. Clinical students join the Project’s staff to litigate cases on behalf of clients, in partnership with community-based organizations and advocacy organizations.

Featured Cases

Villalba et al. v. ITT

Class action by former ITT Tech students in ITT’s bankruptcy proceedings. Students are the true creditors of ITT and debts from ITT are invalid.

Colon v. DeVos

Asks a court to declare that student loan debt from Sanford-Brown Institute, a for-profit college determined to have violated New York state consumer protection laws, is invalid and not enforceable.

Calvillo Manriquez v. DeVos

Class action challenging the federal government’s failure to discharge tens of thousands of student loans from Corinthian College discharge applicants whom the government already deemed entitled to discharges.

About the Predatory For-Profit College Industry

For decades, the predatory for-profit college industry has exploited the promise of higher education by perpetrating a massive fraud on students trying to build a better life. The industry targets low-income students, students of color, immigrants, the unemployed, and veterans. Many are the first in their families to attend college. This industry draws nearly all its revenue from taxpayer dollars, and relies on deceptive and relentless sales tactics to recruit students, leaving them worse off than they started.

“Everything that the school promised, turned out to be false... Sanford-Brown Institute has left me and many other students with mountains of debt and no career path to dig ourselves out. Making this worse is that our own government has failed to step in to protect and help students.”

Yvette

“[The Department of Education] should be protecting the students, because students were led to believe they were protected. And they are not, they are protecting...for-profit schools."

Sarah

“It's not like I got 30 percent of the education. I got zero percent of the education that they offered."

-Amanda, former Everest College student on Department of Education's partial denial rule

News

Education Department to Enforce Obama-era Ban on Mandatory Arbitration | Politico Pro

The Education Department said on Friday that it will begin enforcing an Obama-era ban on colleges using mandatory arbitration agreements, after a federal judge last fall thwarted the Trump administration’s efforts to stop the policy.

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4 Ideas for Improving Education From The Chronicle’s 2019 ‘Shark Tank’ | The Chronicle of Higher Education

Let’s start with a disclaimer: Vetting the pitches for our Shark Tank: Edu Edition at SXSW EDU is an utterly unscientific process. The goal is to unearth some interesting ideas and have some fun exploring their pros and cons.

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A College Chain Crumbles, and Millions in Student Loan Cash Disappears | New York Times

When the Education Department approved a proposal by Dream Center, a Christian nonprofit with no experience in higher education, to buy a troubled chain of for-profit colleges, skeptics warned that the charity was unlikely to pull off the turnaround it promised.

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