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.”


“[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."



Judge Expands Order Blocking DeVos Partial Loan Forgiveness Policy | Politico

A federal judge in California is expanding the number of former Corinthian Colleges students who will receive a temporary reprieve on their federal student loans amid an ongoing legal challenge to the Trump administration’s loan discharge policies.

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Judge Rejects DeVos’s Interpretation of Order to Halt Partial Student Debt Relief Plan | The Washington Post

Tens of thousands of former Corinthian Colleges students can breathe a sigh of relief after a federal judge said late Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Education must stop all attempts to collect on their federal student loans. The decision clarifies the scope of the judge’s ruling in May banning the Education Department from using earnings data to grant partial student loan forgiveness to Corinthian students and halting collection on their federal debts.

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Feds Must Stop Collecting Debts of Students Who Say They Were Scammed by Schools | MarketWatch

Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education must stop collecting the federal student debt of some borrowers who say they were ripped off by a now-defunct for-profit college, at least for now. That’s according to an order issued Tuesday by Sallie Kim, a judge in the Federal District Court in San Francisco. It applies to students who attended certain Corinthian College programs beginning as far back as 2010 if they’ve applied for relief from their federal loans and only had them partially forgiven.

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