This action is for everyone who attended a for-profit school who currently lives in Texas (so even if you used to live somewhere else or the for-profit school was located somewhere else, if you now live in Texas this is for you).
As you probably already know, the Department of Education has been letting individual defense to repayment (DTR) applications sit on a shelf and gather dust. Many people have been waiting years for a decision on their individual application. The Department of Education’s strategy here seems to be to wait it out. They want to ignore these DTRs long enough for them to have time to rewrite the rules. Once they have rewritten the rules, they will be able to deny many more people the debt relief they deserve. At the moment we have no mechanism to force the Department of Education to actually process and make a decision on an individual DTR.
BUT, the good news is that there is another option here. The Attorney General can file a group discharge application which would cover all students who attended for-profits like Corinthian, ITT Tech, AI and other schools. Unlike an individual DTR, we do have a way to force them to respond to these group wide DTRs. In a recent court case the judge ruled that the Department of Education cannot ignore these group DTRs in the same way that they are ignoring individual DTRs.
So what we want to do is organize everyone in Texas who has attended one of these schools to email the Attorney General’s office, and their Senator, and tell them to file a group wide DTR. We’ve created a template of for you to follow below.
Note: This was sent to the attorney general office of Ken Paxton (Texas). I also submitted proof (tax form) that I was not attending the institution when it, without my consent or knowledge, took money from my grants when I was not attending or enrolled in school. I graduated 2 years before they took this money in my name.
“I attended this institution under the information that was
provided to me by the institution and all parties involved
–employed by EDMC. The information provided to me by
them included: “Gainful Employment” rates, placement,
Alumni “success” and tuition rates. All of the information
was grossly inaccurate and bloated. High pressure sales
tactics were used by many people there including signing
under an extent of duress, constant phone calls and a rush
through admission. Two years into my program and after
signing for loans and grants, I received information from
outside sources about the inaccuracy of the information The
Art Institute of Houston provided. At that same time, EDMC
and The Art Institutes was being investigated and sued by
the US Federal Government for fraud. By then I asked about
the transferring of my credits to another institution or
university, and I was informed that likely they would not
transfer. I had invested too much time and money. During
this time, predominantly, I was not receiving adequate
instruction in the classroom. We were pushed to follow
tutorials with little to no oversight from the instructors, who
incidentally, appeared exhausted and overwhelmed. Their
academic committee had very little protocol or policies
about student success in portfolio development. I had not
received adequate assistance to be placed in a job by career
services as promised and the response I received was
uninformed and underwhelming. I was not placed into a job
by this institution. Neither were many of my graduating
class (peers). The school then turned to me for guidance and
assistance on multiple occasions after graduation to help the
current students. At this time, the institution did not send me
my diploma as they said I still had a balance with the school.
The EDMC and DEPT. OF EDUCATION lawsuit stripped
loan privileges away from the school --hence leaving me
with a balance owed to the school. As a low income student,
I had no other options available except to sign up for a
payment plan through the school --by which I was not
informed they would keep my diploma until the balance was
This institution does not produce graduates who are
equipped with the adequate skills to be hire-able candidates
in the work force. Due to this example, many hiring entities
will not consider alumni from The Art Institute of Houston
unless there is an exceptional case. Because I invested 2
years of time effort and money, had no way to transfer my
credits, I had to remain at the school and finish my degree.”