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ITT ex-students get more help from the Education Dept.

21 September 2016
ITT ex-students get more help from the Education Dept.

The day ITT closed, I wrote to hundreds of college presidents in areas where ITT students are most concentrated to encourage them reach out to students directly, and to be open to accepting transfer credits.

The federal agency has partnered with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and Beyond 12, which helps first-generation, low-income college students, to match students with counselors for free through NextStepsEdu.org, according to The Washington Post. The former students of the institution also recently talked about the underwhelming classes that they had in the past. She said the high price tag for an ITT education might be why the best option for many students could be opting for the forgiveness of student loans the federal government is offering - although that option wouldn't forgive the loans ITT issued to students, and she's said in the past that they will be unable to transfer credits into a similar program at another institution if they go that route.

Mitchell urged college leaders to find "sophisticated" solutions to help ITT students who want to continue their college experience do so. And the Department of Labor will provide information to its network of almost 2,500 American Job Centers (AJCs) about options available to former students from recent school closings.

Most attention focused on the 35,000 college students were left in limbo.

ITT Tech had faced criticism for its marketing strategies and for leaving students with high levels of debt upon graduation. This option would give people who choose to transfer their ITT credits a path to loan forgiveness, but it is a long and arduous process with no guarantees.

Former students at ITT Technical Institutes are refusing to repay their federal student loans in a protest created to pressure the government into canceling the debt of everyone who alleges they were defrauded by the now-defunct for-profit chain.

The sudden shutdowns mean that students may be able to seek a discharge of federal student loans - but not private student loans - from the federal government. While ITT's closure may be a disruption, we can not allow it to be the end of the road for these students. Anyone enrolled in ITT or who withdrew from the school in the past 120 days is eligible for federal student loan forgiveness under what's known as a closed-school discharge.

As Amanda Hoover reported for The Christian Science Monitor last week, being granted loan forgiveness is an arduous and sometimes unsuccessful process.

Federal education officials said their response to ITT includes the lessons learned over the past few years from the failing the for-profit giant Corinthian Colleges.

She said ITT was supposed to graduate about 20 West Virginia students on September 4, the end of the school's last term, but the Community and Technical College System still doesn't know when they'll receive their degrees. In that case, the US Department of Education said student loans would be forgiven. About 20 Democrats have asked students be protected from other for-profit institutions.

"In recent years, ITT has increasingly been the subject of numerous state and federal investigations", Secretary John B. King wrote.