DIVERSE: Massachusetts Cracks Down on 2 For-profit Colleges

The for-profit college sector is having a tough year. Enrollments are on the decline after years of sustained growth following the Great Recession. Corinthian College shut down, and the Department of Education said that it will erase the debt of some of its graduates and former students who say they were defrauded by the organization.

Two for-profit colleges in Massachusetts, Kaplan Career Institute and Lincoln Technical Institute, will pay back $2.3 million to hundreds of students, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced on Thursday. Both colleges were overstating their job placement rates and pressuring students to enroll.

“We allege these for-profit schools lured hopeful students into enrolling in their vocational programs by promising certain careers, but only left them with substantial debt,” Healey said in a statement. “Many of these students paid their tuition using federal loans, so not only have these schools taken advantage of students, they’ve taken money from taxpayers. Students trying to better their lives through education are instead being left financially ruined. These settlements will provide the relief these students deserve and prevent deceptive practices that put taxpayer dollars at risk.”

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