Former ITT students achieved a major victory in August 2022 when the federal government canceled nearly $4 billion in student loan debt. This decision followed a federal investigation and protests by former students.
While ITT Tech has since closed its doors, other for-profit colleges continue to exploit the promises of better jobs and salaries to take advantage of potential students. Well-meaning for-profit colleges and universities can be beneficial to students, but the industry has numerous problems with schools that view potential students as an easy way to make money without following up on their promises.
In general, for-profit colleges charge higher tuition than not-for-profit and public schools. Studies have found that for-profit colleges have a high acceptance rate but low graduation rate. Understanding the problems at ITT Tech and other now-closed for-profit schools can help you avoid being one of the industry's victims.
Closed For-Profit Schools
At one point, ITT Tech had more than 130 campuses and regularly advertised its services on TV. ITT Tech trained its recruiters to build a rapport with students and targeted vulnerable individuals, such as those in dead-end, low-paying jobs, with promises of higher salaries and the ability to support their families.
In 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that ITT Tech encouraged students to take out private loans even though the school knew most students would be unable to repay them. In 2020, the school reached a settlement.
ITT Tech is not the first for-profit college to close due to deceptive practices. In August 2022, the Education Department also discharged $1.5 billion in debt for students of the now-closed Westwood College. Another for-profit school, Corinthian Colleges, had a $1.2 billion default judgment leveled against it in 2016 for “false advertising and lending practices.”
False Promises of Professional Success
ITT Tech, Corinthian, and Westwood are not the only for-profit schools out to make a buck off of student's dreams and goals. For-profit schools continue to use misleading tactics to encourage prospective students to take out loans. For-profit colleges and universities are businesses before they are educational institutions, which means money is their primary focus.
The good news is that it may be more difficult for these for-profit schools to continue to exploit students. Also, in August 2022, the U.S. Department of Education canceled its recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). The ACICS predominately accredited for-profit colleges and universities, and without the Department of Education recognizing ACICS, schools cannot receive federal student loans. Affected schools will have 18 months to find new accreditation.
These efforts are important, but tens of thousands of people either have been or will be misled by similar schools. Too often, the outcome is no degree, no increased salary, and loans that are almost impossible to pay back.
Defend Your Rights
For-profit schools serve their shareholders first, not their students. If you have or are attending a for-profit university, make sure your rights are protected. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.