Millions in student loan debt forgiven in settlement with for-profit education company

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Thousands of Oklahomans will have millions of dollars of debt waved as part of a settlement with a for-profit education company.

On Friday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said that Career Education Corporation will forgo collecting $2.2 million in student loan debt from 1,131 Oklahomans as part of a national settlement.

The announcement comes after complaints from students and a critical report on for-profit education by the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The attorneys general alleged that employees from CEC were pressured to enroll students and engage in unfair and deceptive practices, including making misleading statements or failing to disclose information to prospective students on total costs, transferability of credits and job placement rates.

“The victims in this case were students who wanted to earn an education and better their lives,” Attorney General Hunter said. “As a result of the high-pressure enrollment tactics used by employees at the company, some students never obtained the professional license they were seeking and incurred debts they could not repay. I appreciate the team from our office and the others from around the country for their work that led to this positive outcome for victims.”

The CEC has closed or phased out many of its schools over the past 10 years. Its schools have included Briarcliffe College, Brooks Institute, Brown College, Harrington College of Design, International Academy of Design & Technology, Le Cordon Bleu, Missouri College and Sanford-Brown.

The company has agreed to forgo collection of debts owed to it by students who attended a CEC institution that closed before Jan. 1 or whose final day of attendance at the American InterContinental University or Colorado Technical University occurred on or before Dec. 31, 2013.

Former students with debt relief eligibility questions are encouraged to contact the CEC by calling the company at (844) 783-8629, or (847) 783-8629 or by email at cecquestions@careered.com.

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