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Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks in December 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

The Biden administration has canceled $55.6 million in student loan debt for victims of a for-profit college fraud, the Department of Education announced Friday.

Why it matters: The Department of Education said it canceled the loan payments for 1,800 borrowers who attended Westwood College, Marinello Schools of Beauty and the Court Reporting Institute.

  • The Biden administration has canceled $1.5 billion in debt for nearly 92,000 borrowers who claim they were defrauded, including students from ITT Technical Institute and Corinthian Colleges. 

The big picture: A majority of the debt, $53 million, will go toward borrowers who attended Westwood College, which closed in 2015. Another $2.2 million from 200 complaints will go toward students from Marinello and $340,000 in debt was forgiven for 18 borrowers from the Court Reporting Institute.

  • The debt is being forgiven under the Borrower Defense to Repayment, a policy that allows students who were defrauded by their college to seek debt relief.

What they're saying: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement that the department will “continue doing its part to review and approve borrower defense claims quickly and fairly so that borrowers receive the relief that they need and deserve.”

  • “We also hope these approvals serve as a warning to any institution engaging in similar conduct that this type of misrepresentation is unacceptable,” Cardona said.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Sep 23, 2021 - Economy & Business

Stepping into the debt-default unknown

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

No one wants to test the strength of the debt ceiling. The current Treasury Secretary, backed up by many of her predecessors, says that it's so rock-solid that running into it will be catastrophic.

Why it matters: The brinkmanship we're currently seeing over the debt ceiling is the kind of dance that no sane person would perform on the edge of a real cliff. One possible explanation is that the cliff isn't quite as vertiginous as politicians are being warned it is.

Biden administration begins reimbursing Florida districts that had funds held over mask mandates

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Education on Thursday reimbursed about $148,000 to a Florida school district that was penalized for mandating masks for in-person learning.

Why it matters: The award is the first under the administration's Project to Support America's Families and Educators grant program. Florida had withheld funds from Alachua County in August, after it defied Gov. Ron DeSantis' order banning mask mandates in schools.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries to passengers and crew on Saturday, per authorities and a company statement.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were estimated to be on the Empire Builder train, traveling from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, when eight of the 10 cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak said early Sunday.