$ 2.7 million debt relief for for-profit college students in Arizona
Whitney M. Woodworth
Approximately 2,000 Arizonans who were students in a for-profit college chain will be waived $ 2.7 million in student loans as a result of a recent settlement, state officials said Monday.
The agreement is part of a nationwide settlement between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Education Management Corp. (EDMC), the country’s second largest for-profit higher education provider. The Pittsburgh-based company has been under state control for nearly two years.
“We found that many students who enrolled in these schools to lead better lives have instead been unemployed with thousands of dollars in student loan debt,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a statement. “We will continue to hold EDMC responsible for unfair recruiting and enrollment practices.”
The attorney general said EDMC has agreed to cancel $ 102.8 million nationwide in outstanding student loan debt for more than 80,000 students attending EDMC schools in the United States.
EDMC operates Argosy University, the Art Institutes, Brown Mackie College, and South University. The schools serve approximately 100,000 students in 110 locations across the United States and Canada. Phoenix is home to four EDMC schools and two more are in Tucson.
In January 2014, 40 attorneys general opened a multi-state investigation into EDMC after receiving complaints from current and former students. The Arizona AG office said investigators had investigated allegations of false accreditation claims, high pressure student recruiting, and misrepresented job placement data.
A judgment filed in Maricopa County Superior Court requires new financial disclosures for students, prohibits unaccredited programs, and prohibits misrepresentation of career prospects. The judgment requires judicial approval. A U.S. attorney will independently oversee EDMC’s settlement compliance for the next three years, Brnovich said.
The AG’s office announced that former students enrolled in a program with fewer than 24 transfer credits had withdrawn within 45 days of their first day of class and most recently between 01/31/2014.
Brnovich said additional facilities are available for past and current students enrolled in Brown Mackie’s nursing program in Tucson.
He encouraged students on the program, as well as any other victims of consumer fraud, to file a complaint on the Arizona Attorney General’s website, https://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer, or by calling 602-542-5763. to be submitted to 520-628-6504 or 800-352-8431.
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