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

Defeated In Court, Education Dept. To Cancel $150 Million Of Student Loan Debt | NPR

The U.S. Department of Education is sending emails to about 15,000 people across the country telling them: You’ve got money. These are former students — and some parents of students — who took out loans for colleges that shut down between Nov. 1, 2013, and Dec. 4, 2018. About half attended campuses run by Corinthian Colleges. They will get their money back or have their debt forgiven — an amount estimated at $150 million, all told — under a provision called Automatic Closed School Discharge.

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Dept. of Education to Cancel $150 Million in Student Loan Debt | NBC News

The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday it would automatically cancel $150 million in student loans connected to for-profit colleges that closed in recent years. The move was made under an Obama-era policy that a federal judge in October essentially forced U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to implement. The story was first reported by Politico.

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Education Dept. Will Cancel $150 Million in Student Debt After Judge’s Order | New York Times

The Education Department is wiping $150 million in federal student loans off the books, and has begun the process of informing thousands of borrowers that they no longer owe the government money because the schools they attended shut their doors. The loan forgiveness, announced this week, applies to about 15,000 borrowers as federal education officials begin to carry out new rules that they fought in court for more than a year before giving up in October.

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