After Lawsuit, For-Profit College Will Forgive $15 Million in Ex-Students’ Loans

The for-profit Westwood College has agreed to forgive the student-loan debt of graduates of its criminal-justice program, amounting to roughly $15 million. The college reached an agreement last month with the office of Illinois’s attorney general, Lisa Madigan, to cancel former students’ debt from institutional loans, among other things, according to a copy of the deal provided to The Chronicle.

The attorney general sued the college in 2012, asserting it had deceived students and enrolled them in a program with phony accreditation. As part of the agreement, the college, which is owned by Alta Colleges Inc., did not admit any guilt or liability.

In a statement to Chicago’s WLS-TV, the college said the agreement was “in the best interest of students, and upholds and confirms our tradition of providing a quality education for our students and graduates, many of whom can be found working at businesses and law-enforcement agencies across the state of Illinois.”

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