Feds to give former Art Institute students a new opportunity for loan forgiveness – The Washington Post
Former students of a now-defunct chain of art schools who remain saddled with federal loans have a better chance of that debt being erased under an arrangement confirmed Thursday by the Education Department.
The agency has agreed to expand the period of eligibility for former Art Institute students to have their debts canceled through the department’s closed-school discharge program. Borrowers are usually eligible if they were enrolled, on approved leave or had withdrawn within four months of their college closing. Instead of the standard four-month period, the department is extending the time frame to nearly a year for students at the Art Institute’s five locations.
The decision stems from a lawsuit brought in October by former students at the Art Institute of Colorado and the Illinois Institute of Art against the department and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The plaintiffs accuse the agency of providing loans even though Education Department officials knew the schools were not accredited and, as a result, ineligible to receive such aid. The former students have argued that they should not be forced to repay loans that were issued unlawfully.