When someone signs up to take classes, they do so with certain expectations in mind. With ITT Tech, those expectations weren’t very complicated: to complete this technical school’s program with the knowledge, certifications, and training to step into a specific job role. This is a rather straightforward set up, and people can learn a lot about a specific topic in a short amount of time.
Unfortunately, anyone who applied to receive education from this “institution” after the late 90s found themselves getting the short end of the stick. Job placement, up-to-date technology, and job security with the skills being taught were in short supply. This was once an amazing school for those who just wanted to learn a skill set and get to work. Sadly, it was churning out nothing beyond mediocrity and was taking students for a financial ride along the way.
After ITT shuttered unceremoniously in September 2016, many students were left with a huge problem on their hands. This tech school had credits that didn’t transfer, thus making their “education” worthless anywhere else. Instead of having accredited programs, they operated much like a trade school’s apprentice program, and it just ticked the in-house boxes towards their certification.
For many who had signed up and attended, this was something they were never told, and they only learned the ugly truth after ITT Tech closed.
Now enter President Biden and his plans to help control student debt. Looking at this failed program closely, he and his advisors have now chosen to forgive the federal student loan debt of any student who went there after January 2005. On August 16th, the Education Department made the announcement which was music to the ears of many.
“This includes borrowers who have not yet applied for a borrower defense to repayment discharge. These borrowers will have the federal student loans they received to attend ITT discharged without any additional action on their part.”
The school was found to have “engaged in widespread and pervasive misrepresentations related to the ability of students to get a job or transfer credits.” They were also charged with “lying about the programmatic accreditation of ITT’s associate degree in nursing,” using internal records as well as staff and student accountability to verify these claims.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona also had statements of his own for the defunct but horrific school.
“It is time for student borrowers to stop shouldering the burden from ITT’s years of lies and false promises. The evidence shows that for years, ITT’s leaders intentionally misled students about the quality of their programs in order to profit off federal student loan programs, with no regard for the hardship this would cause. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to stand up for borrowers who’ve been cheated by their colleges, while working to strengthen oversight and enforcement to protect today’s students from similar deception and abuse.”
With $3.9 billion in federal student loan debt, and 208,000 borrowers impacted, this latest round of forgiveness accounts for a sizeable chunk of the $32 billion and 1.6 million borrowers the Biden administration has forgiven the education debt for. While student loans are currently under a freeze as a result of COVID, this is scheduled to stop at the end of August.
As such, the Biden administration is weighing the options of forgiving student loan debt in a finite amount. While many are advocating for as much as $50,000 per borrower, the latest rumors suggest that President Biden is most closely considering $10,000. Additionally, he has been following in President Trump’s footsteps and making it easier for those who are fully disabled to get their loans discharged.