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Education Department Approves $1.5B in Debt Relief

August 31, 2022

The Department of Education announced Tuesday that it will discharge all remaining federal student loans for borrowers who enrolled in any location of Westwood College (including enrollment in Westwood’s online program) between Jan. 1, 2002, and Nov. 17, 2015, when it stopped enrolling new borrowers in advance of its 2016 closure.

The department said that it has analyzed the evidence related to Westwood and concluded that the for-profit college “engaged in widespread misrepresentations about the value of its credentials for attendees’ and graduates’ employment prospects such that all borrowers who attended during the period described above are entitled to a full loan discharge.”

This action will result in $1.5 billion in discharges for 79,000 borrowers, regardless of whether they have applied for a borrower-defense discharge.

“Westwood College’s exploitation of students and abuse of federal financial aid place it in the same circle of infamy occupied by Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute,” said Under Secretary James Kvaal. “Westwood operated on a culture of false promises, lies and manipulation in order to profit off student debt that burdened borrowers long after Westwood closed.”

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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