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

Former for-profit college students will have $168 million in student debt cancelled | Market Watch

More than 18,000 students who attended a now-defunct for-profit college will have $168 million in private loan debt discharged. The loan cancellation is part of a proposed deal between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, attorneys general of 43 states and the District of Columbia and Student CU Connect (or the CUSO), a company that held and managed private loans taken out by students at ITT Tech.

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Student Loan Discharge Bar Lower but Still Tough in New Proposal | Bloomberg Government

Students who were misled by colleges into attending and who are now seeking loan forgiveness would have an easier time under a revised Trump administration proposal but they could still face an uphill climb.

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Cancel Student Debt, Boost the Economy | Medium

In April, Senator Elizabeth Warren released a bold plan for free public college and debt cancellation. This transformational proposal takes direct aim at some of the deepest inequities in education in America, and it’s funded by her Ultra-Millionaire tax on wealth above 50 million. The plan includes a $50 billion minimum fund for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions, and will make public college tuition-free at both two- and four-year institutions.

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