WKYT Investigates | What happened with ITT Tech student loans?

Photo: Dwight Burdette / CC BY 3.0 (MGN)
Photo: Dwight Burdette / CC BY 3.0 (MGN)(WKYT)
Published: Mar. 15, 2019 at 5:41 PM EDT
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Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear wants to know if any Kentucky ITT Technical Institute students haven't had their federal loans cleared out by now.

If they haven't, he wants to hear from them. Beshear told WKYT Investigates his office has now fought for debt relief for 5,700 Kentuckians for more than $5.2 million.

"They were just trying to get more education, and what they did is they got suckered by a group that took their money and left them worse off than when they'd gone there," Beshear said.

ITT Tech, the for-profit college that shut down in 2016, went bankrupt. When that happens, Beshear said federal loans should be canceled and reimbursed to students.

"What the federal government is supposed to do when that happens is to provide debt relief for the federal student loans those students have taken," he said. "But the administration, Washington D.C., stopped processing those claims. It ground to a halt. People who needed that money back and who should have had it by that time weren't getting it."

"Just the fact that I had a $30,000 federal loan/ I've got a piece of paper that is a joke now," former student Joshua Dickerson said.

He planned to use ITT as a jumping-off point for more education and more money for his family. But now, because of ITT Tech, he's lost faith in education.

"I think as long as they had a social security number, and they could get a federal loan, that's all that mattered to them. As long as you can walk in the door, sign your name and they could get that federal loan, that's all they were worried about."

Last Fall, Beshear and other attorneys general pressured the U.S. Department of Education to release the federal loans. He said it worked. But still many are looking for relief, like Dickerson.

"I don't think I can go anywhere with the degree I have from ITT," he said. "I think it's more of a laughing stock."