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An online for-profit school has agreed to forgive Idaho student debt

A for-profit education company that operates online schools, and previously ran several institutions in places outside Idaho, has agreed to forgive debt for hundreds of Idaho students.
A for-profit education company that operates online schools, and previously ran several institutions in places outside Idaho, has agreed to forgive debt for hundreds of Idaho students.

An education company accused of misleading almost 400 Idaho students has agreed to pay them an average of more than $2,000 apiece.

Career Education Corp. allegedly pressured its employees to enroll students. It made misleading statements or didn’t disclose information to prospective students such as total costs, job placement and whether their credits would transfer, state attorneys general have alleged.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced Thursday that Idaho joined the multistate settlement with the Illinois-based company.

CEC agreed to waive nearly $500 million in debts owed by more than 179,000 students in the U.S., including about $863,000 owed by about 388 Idaho students, Wasden said.

“For years, this company was less than honest with students and prospective students about the costs and other important aspects of their higher education,” Wasden said in a news release. “Doing away with these debts is the right thing to do.”

The settlement ends an investigation that a group of attorneys general began in January 2014, Wasden said. Among other things, Wasden said, the investigation found some students could not get licensed in their professions and couldn’t repay their debts because of CEC’s practices.

CEC offers online courses through American InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University. The company also previously operated other schools outside of Idaho including Briarcliffe College, Brooks Institute, Brown College, Harrington College of Design, International Academy of Design & Technology, Le Cordon Bleu, Missouri College and Sanford-Brown.

Students who attended a CEC school that closed before Jan. 1, 2019, or who stopped attending AIU or CTU before Dec. 31, 2013, qualify for the debt relief. Former students can contact CEC at (847) 781-3600 or visit the CEC website — careered.com — for more information.

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