Aug 30, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden admin wipes millions in student debt for more “cheated” borrowers

Demonstrators stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court in June. Photo: Tom Brenner for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Biden administration added another lump sum to its student loan debt forgiveness offerings: $72 million in relief to over 2,300 borrowers who attended the school formerly known as Ashford University.

Why it matters: The decision follows President Biden's promise to continue pursuing student debt relief following the Supreme Court's decision earlier this summer to strike down his administration's loan forgiveness plan.

  • Ashford University was an online, for-profit school based in San Diego that the University of Arizona has since acquired and renamed as the "University of Arizona Global Campus."

The big picture: The Biden administration said it has so far approved over $116 billion in student loan forgiveness for over 3.4 million borrowers.

Driving the news: The Department of Education on Wednesday announced the new forgiveness recipients, saying Ashford made misrepresentations to students between 2009 and 2020.

  • Ashford University students had filed for loan forgiveness under the department's borrower defense process, describing an inability to complete programs and obtain employment.
  • A court previously sided with California's Department of Justice in March 2022 in a lawsuit against Ashford and Zovio, Inc., its parent company.
  • Eligible borrowers will be emailed in September, the DOE said.

What they're saying: U.S. Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal said in a statement that Ashford "relied extensively on high-pressure and deceptive recruiting tactics to lure students," citing the California DOJ's court victory.

  • He added that the department was "protecting the students who were cheated by Ashford."
  • Axios reached out to the UAGC for comment.

Go deeper: How to apply for the new student loan repayment plan

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