Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and a bipartisan group of 25 state attorneys general, filed an application Thursday urging the U.S. Department of Education to forgive the loan debt of students who attended ITT Technical Institute.
ITT Tech locations, including one in Portland, shuttered in 2016.
In a statement, Rosenblum’s office said the application was filed under the Department of Education’s “borrower defense rule.” It was filed on behalf of students, including an unspecified number of Oregonians, who were enrolled at ITT Tech between 2007 and 2010 — a time when Rosenblum said the school used “deceptive tactics.”
“Students who attended ITT Tech during this four-year period were lured to the for-profit school based on promises that their degree would be extremely valuable once they graduated,” Rosenblum said in a statement. “That was simply not the case.”
During that time, ITT told prospective students that estimated earnings for ITT graduates were $100,000 more than the average earnings of workers with the same credentials over their estimated lifetime. That was debunked when a Columbia University professor found that ITT overestimated those claims, according to a congressional report in 2012.
ITT Tech took millions of dollars from thousands of students “who were left with nothing more than a big chunk of debt and a shoddy degree,” Rosenblum said.
She and the group of Attorneys General are asking the Department of Education for full loan relief – including forgiveness of debt former students still owe as well as refunds of payments they’ve already made.
This is just the latest attempt from Rosenblum to help former ITT Tech students.
In 2019, according to Rosenblum’s office, Oregon settled for about $2 million in debt relief from a private loan company on behalf of 242 Oregon ITT Tech students. Last year, the state settled for $1.6 million in debt forgiveness from another private loan program for 231 former ITT students in Oregon.