DENVER – Students affected by ITT Technical College’s announcement Tuesday that it is ceasing operations immediately may be able to get their federal student loans wiped out completely under certain circumstances.
US Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. sent a letter to ITT students Tuesday saying the now-shuttered school has “put its students and millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded federal student aid at risk” and that additional oversight measures taken by the Department of Education led to the school’s decision to stop operating.
But the letter notes two possibilities for students currently or recently enrolled at the school now worried about what to do.
First, Secretary King notes that it is possible for some eligible students to see their federal loan debt obliterated entirely. Those students would be able to restart their education at a different school.
“If ITT closes before you finish your program and you don’t transfer your credits, you will likely be eligible to discharge your federal loans,” the Department of Education’s website reads.
Another option would be continuing one’s education and transferring all possible credits to another school. Secretary King writes this may be especially ideal for students close to graduating, but added that choosing such a route may limit a student’s ability to have their loans discharged.
Students who used private loans to pay for school will not be eligible for loan forgiveness programs; the discharges are only possible for those with federal student loans.
The Department of Education has set up a page where current and former students affected by the school’s closure can find out more information on the discharge programs.
ITT Tech has campuses in Westminster and Aurora.
The school’s closure comes after months of scrutiny by the Department of Education, which first asked ITT Tech to increase the amount of surety money held by the department by more than $40 million in order to cover the school’s possible closure.
The department also found the school is non-compliant with Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools standards.
The worry led the Department of Education to add extra requirements necessary for the school to continue participating in the federal student aid program and ultimately bar it from enrolling students with federal loans, a “difficult choice,” the department said, but one that ultimately led to the school’s decision to shut its doors for good.