The Department of Education on Friday announced it was canceling an additional $56 million in student loans for 1,800 individuals who were misled by three different for-profit institutions about their employment and salary prospects and the transferability of credits from the schools to other institutions.
The individuals attended Westwood College, Marinello Schools of Beauty and the Court Reporting Institute. This cancellation marked the first time that the Education Department has canceled student loans who attended institutions other than Corinthian Colleges, ITT Technical Institute, and American Career Institute. Last month, the Department announced it was canceling about $500 million in loans for 18,000 individuals who attended ITT Technical Institute. To date, the Biden administration has canceled $1.5 billion in student loans for more than 92,000 individuals.
“Today’s announcement continues the U.S. Department of Education’s commitment to standing up for students whose colleges took advantage of them,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a statement. “The Department will continue doing its part to review and approve borrower defense claims quickly and fairly so that borrowers receive the relief that they need and deserve. We also hope these approvals serve as a warning to any institution engaging in similar conduct that this type of misrepresentation is unacceptable.”
The cancellations are a result of claims filed by the individuals under the Borrower Defense to Repayment program, which allows students to seek cancellation of their student loans if they were misled by the institution or if the institution was found to have violated state or federal laws.
The Education Department also issued a reminder that it is considering a rulemaking on additional borrower defense protections.
Student loan debt cancellation has been a hot-button topic for the Biden administration dating back to when he was running for president last year. Many have called on the president to cancel some or all of students’ outstanding loans, while others have claimed that doing so will not have the benefits that people think it will.