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

Art Institute of Philadelphia Students, Facing the School’s Closure, Weigh Offers from Harcum College and Others | The Inquirer

Yo, all you beleaguered Art Institute students. Harcum College, an associate’s-degree-granting college in Bryn Mawr, has a deal for you: $5,000 in tuition assistance for any student affected by the institute’s closure in Philadelphia and at other campuses.

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SEC’s $300,000 ITT Settlement Leaves Trail of Questions | Indianapolis Business Journal

The Securities and Exchange Commission came at ITT Educational Services Inc.’s two top executives with guns blazing three years ago, declaring that CEO Kevin Modany and Chief Financial Officer Daniel Fitzpatrick “engineered a campaign of deception and half-truths.”

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Students Cry for Debt Relief After For-Profit College Collapse, While Executives Admit No Wrongdoing | Market Watch

As a young high school graduate, Joseph Schettler had dreams of working for the FBI or becoming a forensic psychologist. He took steps to make those dreams a reality. Schettler became the first person in his family to go to college, enrolling in the criminal justice program at ITT Tech in 2006 with assurances from the school that he would surely get a job in his field.

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