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Students File Lawsuit Against ITT Tech
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ITT Tech

Summary: ITT Tech is moving through bankruptcy proceedings but hundreds of former students have taken action to make the company be held accountable for the joke of an education they have been left with.

Former ITT Tech students filed a lawsuit against the now defunct for-profit college. The students are seeking participation in the company’s bankruptcy proceedings, using testimonials from hundreds of students that claim they were deceived and abused by ITT Tech. In the past ten years, the company has taken over $11 billion from its students in the form of taxpayer-financed grants and loans.

  
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The lawsuit seeks intervention from the bankruptcy judge from allowing ITT Tech from collecting on the private student loans the company pushed students to obtain. The students are also seeking damages from whatever money is still available after various vendors, lobbyists, and marketers collect some of the money they are owed.

ITT Tech shut down all 137 campuses after the Department of Education cut off federal aid in September. The students allege that the company then carried out “illegal actions pursuant to corporate policies and imperatives direct at churning students through a costly sham.”

Former students have applied to the Department of Education to have their federal loans forgiven. Their testimonials have been gathered up by the group Debt Collective and are being represented by the Project on Predatory Lending at the Harvard Law School legal services center.

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The lawsuit dives deeper into ITT Tech’s deceptive practices. The complaint cites a former ITT recruiter saying that they were trained to entice students will the belief that attending the school was their only option. Recruiters “used the false pretense of urgency to induce students to enroll by claiming that if the student didn’t enroll immediately, they would be unable to enroll for another six months.” ITT Tech was desperate for the money more students would bring in.

Recruiters lied about the cost of the school, saying the tuition rates were relative to other schools when they were actually higher. The cost at ITT Tech was five times higher than Ivy Tech, a comparative college in Indiana. A nursing student explained, “We had 2 semesters of clinicals at the hospital where we spent 90 percent of the time in the cafeteria instead of on the floor learning. Then after the school was not allowed back at the hospitals we did our clinicals on you tube videos. There was also a class I had that we never had a teacher.”



The students allege in the complaint that ITT Tech would sign loan paperwork for them without permission and confuse students as to what kind of loans or grants they were receiving. Many students believed they had taken out a very small amount in loans only to learn they had tens of thousands of dollars in loans.

The company continued their scam by disguising grades and job statistics to make them seem like a good school. However many students learned the hard way that most sectors with reputable jobs like the government and private sector would immediately eliminate any applications with ITT Tech, University of Phoenix or DeVry on them. True Department of Education data reflects that the ITT graduates earned on average $28,218 whereas workers with a high school diploma but no college credits earned more on average at $34,736.

ITT Tech has also been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the attorney generals from multiple states.

Do you think the leadership at ITT Tech should be held accountable for the company’s tactics? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about for-profit colleges, read these articles:

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org

 

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