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A federal district court on Friday ordered the Education Department to resume full debt relief for those previously found to have been defrauded by the defunct for-profit Corinthian Colleges, the Associated Press reported. The Obama administration started a program for full debt relief, but the Trump administration pulled back that plan and said it would provide only partial relief, based on earnings data from students in comparable programs. The judge's ruling Friday found that the department was violating privacy laws in its use of Social Security data, and ordered the department to stop that practice and to resume full debt relief.
The Education Department did not respond to a request for comment from the AP.
The ruling is a preliminary injunction and could be challenged.
But Toby Merrill, director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending, at Harvard University, which represented some students who lost full debt relief under the Trump administration plan, called the ruling significant. “This is an important ruling for former Corinthian Colleges students. It clearly states that the Department of Education must immediately stop using its lawless partial denial rule,” she said in a statement.