CARES Act Handout to For-Profit Colleges is a Slap in the Face to Students | Press Release

April 10, 2020

BOSTON – Congress’s CARES Act has provided over a billion of dollars in handouts to for-profit colleges, Department of Education data show. The top six companies got more than $115 million dollars combined. This industry has a long history of cheating students and abusing the federal student loan program, and its business model is built around taking advantage of people who are struggling financially by offering false promises of economic opportunity.


Statement from Toby Merrill, Director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending


“Giving up to a billion dollars to for-profit colleges as part of a relief package is appalling. At a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty, government should be helping student borrowers who are on the brink of financial ruin, not lining the pockets of for-profit colleges with COVID-19 stimulus money. These predatory for-profit colleges have cheated students and misused government funds for their entire existence. We are calling on all government officials who care about accountability to stop handing out cash to companies that exist to cheat students and collect federal funds. If Congress or the Department of Education are worried about the well-being of students at for-profit schools, they should cancel their debt.”


Established in 2012, the Project on Predatory Student Lending is the first legal services practice in the country focused solely on representing former students of for-profit colleges. Its mission is to litigate to make it legally and financially impossible for the predatory for-profit college industry to cheat students, and to relieve borrowers from fraudulent student loan debt.

The Project has brought a wide variety of cases on behalf of former students of for-profit colleges. It has sued the federal Department of Education for its failures to meet its legal obligation to police this industry and stop the perpetration and collection of fraudulent student loan debt. It has also brought its clients’ experiences to bear on federal and state policymaking.