The Department of Education said Monday that it would put a maximum of $500 million toward federal loan forgiveness for former ITT Technical Institute students. In the aftermath of ITT Tech’s closure on September 6, Education Secretary Ted Mitchell said that ED has received thousands of emails and calls from students seeking guidance on how to move forward with their education.
“Some are looking for a pathway to degree completion by transferring to another institution. Others are applying for federal student loan discharge to wipe away their loans,” he wrote in a blog on ED’s website. “Yet there are others who are so deeply frustrated, discouraged and angry at ITT’s closure that they’re considering abandoning their education. A college education is still the best investment a person can make in oneself and the surest path to the middle class. While ITT’s closure may be a disruption, we cannot allow it to be the end of the road for these students.”
Students can have their federal loans forgiven if they choose not to transfer their credits to a new institution. Private loans, however, are not eligible for private loan forgiveness. “There are some students for whom closed school loan discharge will not really make them whole, because they have also taken out private loans,” Mitchell said in a press call. He said that ED does not have good data on the private loans that ITT students might have taken out.
In addition to visiting ED websites for further information about their options, ED is encouraging ITT students to work with organizations that are offering assistance to students who want to continue their education at other schools. These organizations include Beyond 12, National Association of College Admissions Counseling, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, National College Access Network, UAspire, and Veterans Education Success.
Students who were enrolled in ITT 120 days prior to closure, or students who left the institution after May 6, are also eligible for closed school loan discharges, provided they did not graduate.