Finance

Jan 31 2017

4 colleges to forgive loans to students who dropped out – Sun Sentinel #1500 #loan

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4 colleges to forgive loans to students who dropped out

Debt relief for some students

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Four for-profit colleges in South Florida will forgive loans to students who dropped out, under a legal settlement.

Four for-profit colleges in South Florida will forgive loans to students who dropped out, under a legal settlement.

Some students who dropped out of four for-profit colleges in South Florida won’t have to pay back loans they took out from the schools.

The schools are the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, the Miami International University of Art Design, South University in West Palm Beach and Brown Mackie College in downtown Miami and Miramar. The arrangement applies to students who quit within 45 days of the start of courses from 2006 to 2014

The colleges’ parent company agreed to forgive the loans as well as allow students 21 days to withdraw with no financial obligation. The changes were part of settlements to a whistleblower lawsuit and an investigation alleging that school representatives had made fraudulent claims to entice people to enroll.

Pittsburgh-based Education Management Corp. denied any wrongdoing. But putting these matters behind us returns our focus to educating students, said its president and CEO, Mark A. McEachen.

About 4,550 former students in Florida are eligible for loan forgiveness, said Chris S. Hardman, a spokesman for Education Management. He said he didn’t know how many of them are in South Florida.

The company will forgive more than $6.5 million in loans statewide. Nationwide, the agreement requires Education Management to forgive more than $100 million in outstanding loans held by more than 80,000 former students.

Four of Education Management’s seven Florida colleges are in Broward, Palm Beach or Miami-Dade counties.

The four will continue to operate and accept students, Hardman said. There are no changes to campuses as a result of the settlements, he said in an email.

The company will send notices to former students who qualify for loan forgiveness as well as to credit reporting agencies, according to the Florida Attorney General’s Office, which joined in the lawsuit against Education Management.

People who want to see whether they qualify for Education Management’s student loan forgiveness can call 855-725-4301.

Students still have to pay back any federal student loans, according to the court settlement.

Education Management also worked with state attorneys general to develop new, more transparent recruiting and disclosure standards, which the company hopes will serve as a model for higher education, according to a company statement.

Education Management’s schools will provide online financial disclosure tools to help students understand the cost of their educations. The schools also will provide free orientation programs for incoming students and supply accurate information about graduates’ job placement.





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