The Department of Education announced today 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 January 1, 2002 through November 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.”