September 23, 2023

By COLLIN BINKLEY | AP Training Author

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is canceling $72 million in scholar loans for two,300 debtors who say they have been cheated by Ashford College, a former for-profit school that was bought by the College of Arizona in 2020.

The Training Division introduced the motion Wednesday, saying it can search to recoup the cash from the College of Arizona.

The college denies any legal responsibility, saying in a press release that it had “completely no involvement in, and isn’t immediately or not directly accountable for, the actions of Ashford and its mum or dad firm” and might be “assessing its choices.”

Earlier than its sale, Ashford was a web based for-profit school that enrolled greater than 100,000 college students. It was owned by the corporate Zovio and primarily based in San Diego.

A California courtroom in 2022 discovered that Ashford continuously lied to college students to get them to enroll. Its recruiters misled college students concerning the school’s accreditation, prices and the period of time it could take to graduate, the courtroom concluded.

That lawsuit, introduced by the state of California, was the premise of the Training Division’s cancellation.

President Joe Biden mentioned his administration “received’t stand for schools profiting from hardworking college students and debtors.”

“These debtors have been lied to about the price of attending Ashford, have been misled about how lengthy it could take to get a level, and have been deceived concerning the transferability of Ashford credit,” Biden mentioned in a press release. “They deserve higher.”

The motion will robotically discharge loans for two,300 debtors who attended Ashford from March 2009 by means of April 2020 and utilized for cancellation by means of the Training Division’s borrower protection program. These debtors will see their mortgage balances zeroed out, and they are going to be refunded for funds on their federal loans.

California Legal professional Basic Rob Bonta inspired different former Ashford college students to use for reduction in the event that they have been deceived.

“What Ashford College did to its college students was unconscionable and unlawful,” Bonta mentioned. “That’s why the California Division of Justice took Ashford and its mum or dad firm to courtroom.”

Underneath its earlier possession, Ashford’s recruiters instructed college students they might have the ability to work as academics, social staff, nurses and drug and alcohol counselors, however the college by no means obtained accreditation for these professions, in line with California’s lawsuit.