A for-profit education company based in Illinois has agreed to not collect nearly $500 million in student debt and to change its recruiting and enrollment practices in a settlement with the Nebraska Attorney General and attorneys general from 48 other states.
The agreement benefits 370 Nebraska students who owed $665,400.
The Nebraska Attorney General’s office reports Career Education Corporation has agreed not to collect approximately $493.7 million in debts owed by 179,529 students nationally. The settlement ends a five-year investigation. Career Education denies the allegations brought by the attorneys general, but agreed to resolve the allegations from the multi-state lawsuit.
“This settlement will provide over $660,000 worth of debt relief to more than 300 Nebraska students,” Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a written statement released by his office. “It is an effective example of the work that can be done by state attorneys general in protecting American students and their families from institutions that put profits ahead of people.”
As part of the settlement, Career Education agreed to pay $5 million to the states. Nebraska will receive $75,000.
Career Education primarily offers online courses through American InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University.
Career Education has closed or phased out many of its schools over the past 10 years, including Briarcliffe College, Brooks Institute, Brown College, Harrington College of Design, International Academy of Design & Technology, Le Cordon Bleu, Missouri College, and Sanford-Brown.
The attorneys general alleged Career Education pressured employees to enroll students and used unfair and deceptive practices. They charged some students couldn’t get professional licenses and incurred debts they couldn’t pay.
States participating in the settlement include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.
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