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Debt Relief for Defrauded Students Is Long Overdue – And So Is Accountability for Kaplan

Loan Scams

Debt Relief for Defrauded Students Is Long Overdue – And So Is Accountability for Kaplan


Lawyers representing former students of Kaplan Career Institute in Massachusetts have sued the U.S. Department of Education, alleging an unlawful and unconscionable failure of the Department to cancel the students’ federal loans — six years after the Massachusetts attorney general settled with the school over charges that it deceived and defrauded students. After the Massachusetts AG office reached its $1.375 million settlement with Kaplan Career Institute, it applied to the Department for a “group discharge” on behalf of the students, alleging they were harmed by systematic deception and deserved to have their loan debt cancelled without individualized showings by every last attendee. 

The Department should act promptly to cancel the loans in response to the lawsuit, which was filed by three non-profit law firms: Student Defense, Project on Predatory Student Lending, and National Consumer Law Center. The former students wasted enough of their time and own money pursuing Kaplan degrees that for many did not yield any career advancement. 

But there’s more the Department should do. The company that the Massachusetts AG concluded was defrauding students — and whose loan discharges would cost taxpayers millions — is not some strip mall scam operation. It’s a big corporation, traded on Wall Street, called Graham Holdings, whose chairman is Donald Graham, a powerful Washingtonian from a legendary Washington family. Legendary because the company was formerly…

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