Nebraska, Iowa students will get $2 million in debt relief from college settlement

More than 1,000 students in Nebraska and Iowa will get student-loan debt relief from the Career Education Corp.

That company’s college brands have included for-profit schools such as Brooks Institute, Brown College, Missouri College, Harrington College of Design, Sanford-Brown and Le Cordon Bleu.

The Illinois-based CEC currently offers mainly online courses through American InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University.

This applies only to institutional debt owed by students — that is, loans made by CEC — and not to federal student loans.

In Iowa, 715 students will get relief totaling $1.4 million, and in Nebraska, 370 students will see relief of about $665,400. Nationwide, more than 179,500 students will see relief totaling about $494 million. The settlement was made by CEC with 49 state attorneys general, including those in Nebraska and Iowa.

The state attorneys essentially accused CEC of misleading students about the worth of CEC credits and degrees. The average individual debt relief nationwide is about $2,750, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office said.

CEC has also agreed to pay $5 million to the states. Iowa’s share will be about $264,000 and Nebraska’s $75,000.

The attorneys general started investigating CEC in 2014 after receiving students’ complaints and release of a critical report on for-profit education by a U.S. Senate committee.

CEC agreed to forgo debt collection on students who either went to a CEC school that closed before 2019 or whose final day at Colorado Technical or American InterContinental came before 2014.

CEC has a toll-free question hotline at 844-783-8629.

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