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

Devos Under Fire for Obstacles to Student Debt Relief | Courthouse News Service

A federal judge blocked the Education Department on Monday from dismantling an Obama-era regulation intended to protect student-loan borrowers from predatory lending practices. “The court concludes that, as with most unlawful agency actions, the proper remedy here is vacatur,” U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss wrote.

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Defrauded Students Inch Closer to Victory in DeVos Lawsuit | Associated Press

A federal judge has ruled that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ move to ease protections for former students of for-profit colleges should be reversed, handing a victory to those who said they were defrauded by their schools. But U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss put his ruling on hold for 30 days, giving the Education Department and others a chance to respond.

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Trump Gets an F from Judge for Favoring ‘Predatory’ For-Profit Colleges | Associated Press

President Trump, who paid $25 million to settle allegations he defrauded Trump University students, and whose private-school education was covered entirely by his parents, was handed a legal defeat last week in his efforts to ignore a rule enacted by the Obama administration to protect student borrowers.

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