Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today announced that the U.S. Department of Education will forgive or refund $3.9 billion in debt for 208,000 former ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech) students across the country. The announcement follows the urging of Attorney General Frosh, as part of a multistate coalition, to cancel the federal student loan debt of many students who attended the now-defunct ITT
Tech. The for-profit school defrauded thousands of individuals by encouraging them to enroll and obtain federal student loans based on false and misleading information about the value of an ITT degree and empty promises of high-paying jobs after graduation.
“Many ITT Tech students were misled, coerced, or victimized by other illegal misconduct. The students incurred thousands of dollars in debt, often for useless degrees or credits,” said Attorney General Frosh. “We are pleased that the Department of Education heeded our recommendation to forgive the federal loans owed by defrauded students.”
ITT’s widespread and pervasive misrepresentation violated state consumer protection laws, including Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act. In 2019, Attorney General Frosh secured a settlement obtaining $6,021,455.80 in debt relief for 582 former ITT Tech students in Maryland as part of a multistate settlement with Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC (CUSO). The attorneys general alleged that ITT pressured and coerced students into accepting loans from CUSO, which often carried interest rates that far exceeded rates for federal loans.
Federal law permits the Department of Education to forgive federal student loans when borrowers were deceived in obtaining loans. Today’s announcement includes $74,300,000 in relief for 3,830 Maryland students who attended ITT Tech between January 1, 2005, through its closure in September 2016.