On September 6, 2016, ITT Educational Services, Inc. (ITT) announced that it is ceasing the operation of ITT campuses and online programs. You can learn more about these developments in the official blog of the U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Student Aid website. As a result of ITT’s closure, displaced ITT students can either:
- apply to cancel their federal student loans through a Closed School Discharge or
- attempt to transfer to a new school.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and Board of Higher Education are holding free workshops for displaced ITT students on September 20th and 21st to discuss loan and transfer options.
Former ITT students who are not eligible for a Closed School Discharge, but feel that ITT deceived them into enrolling, may wish to consider applying for a Borrower Defense to Repayment discharge.
Former ITT students who are struggling with student loan debt, can call the Attorney General’s Student Loan Assistance Unit at 1-888-830-6277 or file a Student Loan Assistance Request to get free help exploring repayment options or resolving defaulted federal loans. ITT students should not pay private student loan “debt relief” companies to obtain discharges or manage student loan debt.
ITT students who were enrolled during the final months of the school’s operation and were unable to complete their programs of study can apply to cancel their federal student loans by submitting a Closed School Discharge application.
You are eligible for a Closed School Discharge only if you
- were enrolled at ITT on or after May 06, 2016 or on an official leave of absence as of September 6, 2016; and
- did not finish your program of study at ITT.
However, you will not be eligible for Closed School Discharge if you
- complete your ITT program of study at a new school and
- receive credit from the new school for your ITT training through credit transfer or other comparable means.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education has taken the position that students who were enrolled in ITT bachelor’s degree programs can only cancel federal loans taken out after the completion of their ITT associate’s degrees. In other words, the U.S. Department of Education has stated that ITT students who were enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at or near the time of ITT’s closure will not be able to obtain a Closed School Discharge for federal loans taken in connection with their ITT associate’s degrees.
If you are a Massachusetts resident and believe you are eligible for a Closed School Discharge, please fill out the ITT Tech Closed School Assistance Request Form .
Instead of applying for a Closed School Discharge, you may wish to complete your program of study at a new school. If your new school gives you credit for the training that you received at ITT—through a credit transfer or other comparable means—you will not be eligible for a Closed School Discharge.
Each school will have its own standards for determining if it can accept any of your credits from ITT and/or grant you alternative types of credit. In light of ITT’s sudden closure, Massachusetts community colleges have offered assistance to displaced ITT students. Students may also wish to explore options at other state colleges and universities, including the University of Massachusetts. Click here to contact a transfer advisor at one of Massachusetts’ community colleges or state universities. Community colleges and state universities typically cost far less than for-profit schools. Before you consider enrolling in another for-profit school, please review the Attorney General’s For-Profit School Advisory.
If you are planning to transfer to a new school, you will likely need your ITT transcript. At this time, transcript requests are being fulfilled through ITT’s corporate headquarters. You can submit a request here for a copy of your ITT student transcript. ITT’s course syllabi and catalogs may also be helpful as you attempt to enroll in a new school.
ITT has also informed students that, in the future, it will be using Parchment to manage its student records. ITT will contact students and alumni to inform them when Parchment will be taking over the responsibility for fulfilling transcript requests.
Current ITT students and graduated alumni can obtain a copy of their grade reports through the ITT student services portal if they have an active login and account. While a grade report is not an official transcript, it may be helpful with transferring to another institution if your ITT official transcript is delayed due to the volume of requests being processed by ITT.
Information for Veterans
According the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), due to ITT’s closure, you will no longer receive GI Bill benefits, including the monthly housing allowance, for any future classes at ITT.
Even if your enrollment for the upcoming term was already submitted to the VA for classes at ITT beginning after the end of the summer quarter, the VA will not pay for it. This includes payments under any GI Bill benefit program including the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program. The VA does not believe that it has the legal authority to restore GI Bill benefits you have used to attend ITT, even if you are not finished with the classes this term. You are, however, free to pursue your education goals at another school or training facility.
The VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool can help you review and compare alternatives to ITT to continue your education. You must transfer to a new school approved for the GI Bill to continue receiving VA education benefits, including the monthly housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Before considering transferring to another for-profit school, please review the Attorney General’s For-Profit School Advisory.
What can I do if I have additional questions about my GI benefits?
Please call the VA’s Education Customer Service Office at 1-888-442-4551 (Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 6:00 pm CST) for any questions about your GI Bill benefits and remaining entitlements.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Higher Education are holding two free workshops for displaced ITT students. At the workshops, students will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from community and non-profit colleges regarding transfer options or get help filling out a Closed School Discharge application to cancel their federal loans taken in connection with ITT. Workshop details are below. If you have questions about the workshops, please call the Attorney General’s Office at 1-888-830-6277.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Any time from 4:00 to 7:45 pm
Norwood High School Auditorium
245 Nichols Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Visitor parking is located in the area behind the flag pole.
Please enter the building through Door 3.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Any time from 4:00 to 7:45 pm
Wilmington Middle School Cafeteria
25 Carter Lane
Wilmington, MA 01887
Parking is available at the Middle School or across the road at the West Intermediate School.
If you are not eligible for a Closed School Discharge, but feel that ITT deceived you into enrolling, you can apply to cancel your federal loans through a Borrower Defense to Repayment (“BDR”) discharge.
If you submit a BDR application, you can request a forbearance/collection stoppage on your federal loans while the U.S. Department of Education reviews your application. During the forbearance/collection stoppage, you do not have to make payments on your federal loans, and for defaulted loans, all collection activities including wage garnishment and tax refund interceptions will cease. However, interest will continue to accrue during the forbearance/collection stoppage, and your loan balance will be significantly higher if the discharge is not approved. You may instead wish to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan while your BDR application is being reviewed.
Please be aware that the U.S. Department of Education has not indicated whether it will approve any BDR applications from ITT students, and submitting an application does not guarantee that your federal loans will be discharged. For more information about Borrower Defense to Repayment, including how to apply, please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s BDR webpage.
If you are struggling to repay your federal student loans, you may also wish to explore income-driven repayment (“IDR”) plans. To learn more about IDR, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s IDR webpage. You can apply for IDR by contacting your federal loan servicer or at studentloans.gov.
If you encounter difficulty enrolling in an IDR plan or are struggling with student loan debt, please call the Attorney General’s Student Loan Assistance Unit at 1-888-830-6277 or file a Student Loan Assistance Request.
Massachusetts Attorney General’s Lawsuit Against ITT
In March 2016, the Office of Attorney General Maura Healey filed a lawsuit against ITT alleging that ITT engaged in unfair or deceptive practices in relation to its Massachusetts Computer Network Systems program. The lawsuit is ongoing, and more details about the lawsuit are available online.