Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

ITT TECHNICAL INSTITUTE ; New Rules Set to Help Students; Regulations Make It Easier to Discharge Loans from Defunct Huntington School

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

ITT TECHNICAL INSTITUTE ; New Rules Set to Help Students; Regulations Make It Easier to Discharge Loans from Defunct Huntington School

Article excerpt

New regulations from the U.S. Department of Education will help the students of Huntington's now-defunct ITT Technical Institute, says the chancellor of the state's Community and Technical College System. Most of the regulations, the final draft of which were released by the federal department at the end of October, will go into effect July 1. Among other things, the regulations make it easier for students to discharge their student loans when a school closes.

"I think this is a really good step in helping to protect students, which is very valuable, Chancellor Sarah Tucker said. "In the wake of the ITT Tech closure, we have several students who were really left without many options. These regulations provide them with more options.

When schools close down, the U.S. Department of Education often allows students to wipe away their student loans because the credits they received might not transfer to another institution.

In years past, students would have to individually apply to have their loans discharged. The new federal regulations provide that any students of the closed-down school will automatically qualify for the discharge, speeding up the process.

Loans will be automatically discharged for students who did not re-enroll at another college within three years of the college closing.

"It means students won't have to fill out a lot of paperwork to have their student loans forgiven, Tucker said. "I still think the federal government needs to provide better guidelines about what a comparable program' is, because a lot of having your student loans forgiven is based on the definition of a comparable program.

Previously, the federal department had said students whose school had closed down were not allowed to enroll at another school to complete a "comparable program.

It remains unclear if the regulations prevent students from enrolling in a comparable program or any other college at all.

"While current data limitations make it challenging to definitively identify a borrower who has enrolled in a comparable program or who has successfully transferred credits, in future years, the Department may be able to identify those eligible borrowers who did re-enroll, but not in a comparable program, the regulations read. …

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