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

News

For-Profit Colleges Struggle Despite Assist From DeVos | The Washington Post

The for-profit college industry is struggling under the weight of declining enrollment, stiff competition from traditional universities and an image battered by past misdeeds, even as the Trump administration tries to offer a helping hand.

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Education Department Illegally Took Defrauded Students’ Social Security Data, Lawsuit Alleges | Associated Press

A group of former students defrauded by for-profit colleges is alleging in court that the Education Department illegally obtained and used their Social Security data to limit their student loan relief.

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Consumer Lawyers Want to End Education Department’s Partial Student Debt Relief Plan | The Washington Post

The Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard University, a legal services clinic, has asked a federal judge to stop Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Education Department from using earnings data to grant only partial student loan forgiveness to defrauded borrowers.

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