The Department of Education announced it would cancel the Federal student debt taken on by borrowers who were defrauded by ITT Technical Institute (ITT) from 2005 through its closure in 2016, delivering $3.9 billion in relief to 208,000 people.

The decision – following an extensive investigation by the department – will ensure that borrowers will have the Federal student loans they received to attend ITT discharged without any additional action on their part. This also includes borrowers who have not yet applied for borrower defense to repayment discharge.

“It is time for student borrowers to stop shouldering the burden from ITT’s years of lies and false promises,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a press release. “The evidence shows that for years, ITT’s leaders intentionally misled students about the quality of their programs to profit off Federal student loan programs, with no regard for the hardship this would cause.”

The Education Department found that ITT engaged in widespread misrepresentations related to the ability of students to get a job or transfer credits and lied about the programmatic accreditation of ITT’s associate degree in nursing. Separately, the department announced an expanded window for borrowers who attended but did not graduate from ITT to receive closed school discharges.

The department’s decision brings the total amount of loan relief approved by the Biden-Harris Administration to nearly $32 billion for 1.6 million borrowers. This includes $13 billion related to institutions that took advantage of borrowers.

“The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to stand up for borrowers who’ve been cheated by their colleges while working to strengthen oversight and enforcement to protect today’s students from similar deception and abuse,” Cardona said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.