Le Cordon Bleu Shutting Down

Julia Child’s alma mater wasn’t dishing a recipe for success.

All 16 Le Cordon Bleu cooking schools across the U.S. are shutting down, its money-losing parent company Career Education Corporation announced on Wednesday.

The 115-year-old culinary brand is famous for teaching the original celebrity chef in its Paris flagship in 1950. The cooking and hospitality institution eventually rose into a chain of American for-profit schools from Atlanta to Austin that churned out degrees in culinary arts, hospitality and management, along with cooking classes.

But Le Cordon Bleu’s degrees weren’t up to scratch, according to graduates that accused the school of misleading students about their job prospects after earning an expensive degree. Tuition runs between $16,000 and $42,500 a year, according to Le Cordon Bleu’s 2014-2015 catalog.

The culinary empire first showed signs of collapse after settling a 2013 class action lawsuit for $40 million led by former students who alleged that Career Ed recruiters oversold their job prospects after graduation. Many complained that they made salaries of just $12 an hour after earning degrees from the prestigious academy, and worked in menial jobs such as line cooks and baristas that did not require costly training.

The brand has also fallen under federal scrutiny under the Obama administration’s gainful employment rule. The new statute, which went into effect last July, cuts off federal funding from for-profit schools like Le Cordon Bleu if students borrow money at high rates, but earn peanuts after graduation. The new rule demands that student loan payments don’t exceed 20% of a graduate’s income after taxes to protect students from being buried in debt. Yet a recent Senate report reveals Le Cordon Bleu schools show unusually high rates of students withdrawing from the associate program and defaulting on student loans.

“New federal regulations make it difficult to project the future for career schools that have higher operating costs, such as culinary schools that require expensive commercial kitchens and ongoing food costs,” said Career Education CEO Todd Nelson in a statement. “We will continue with our plan to refocus Career Education’s resources on predominantly online university education.” Loan forgiveness is now available for former students from Le Cordon Bleu. Call (844) 692-6684 to check your eligibility.

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Mountain State University Loan Forgiveness

NON-PROFIT COLLEGE CLOSES DOORS, STUDENTS AT A LOSS FOR WORDS

 What is Mountain State University?

Mountain State University (MSU) was a private nonsectarian not-for-profit university based in Beckley, West Virginia, United States. The university ceased to operate effective January 1, 2013. MSU was previously listed as one of the best universities in the Southeast by The Princeton Review. The school had also been named a Military Friendly school by G.I. Jobs. The university was founded in 1933 as Beckley College, a junior college, and continued as such until 1991, when it achieved four-year status and was renamed The College of West Virginia. In 2001, the school was renamed Mountain State University. On June 28, 2012, the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accrediting authority for the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, withdrew the accreditation of Mountain State University, effective August 27, 2012. The date was subsequently extended until December 31, 2012 to allow the university to ‘teach out’ those students close to graduation.

On August 6, 2012, MSU’s Board of Trustees formally appealed the withdrawal of MSU’s accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission. On December 18, 2012, the Appeals Panel voted to sustain the Commission’s action. MSU’s regional accreditation terminated on December 31, 2012. In May 2014, the Mountain State University Board of Trustees filed a lawsuit against the Higher Learning Commission seeking to restore the university’s accreditation.

On August 13, 2014, UC announced that a settlement had been reached between itself, MSU, and the plaintiffs in various lawsuits arising out of the loss of MSU’s accreditation.nMSU’s insurance company will pay $8.5 million, and MSU will liquidate all of its remaining assets. The settlement was given preliminary court approval on October 6, 2014. Final court approval was given on March 9, 2015. MSU’s former Beckley campus was sold to West Virginia University. MSU maintains its suit against the Higher Learning Commission, and maintains its $2 million life insurance policy on Dr. Charles Polk.

How Its Closure Affects Former Students

All degrees conferred on or before December 31, 2012 are valid and were received from an accredited institution. However, due to the closure of the school, former students may qualify for student loan forgiveness. It does not matter when you attended the school, only that you still have student loans remaining (refunds are not available for loans that were paid off). To see if you qualify, call (844) 692-6684.

Some tech startups, like American Student Aid, work to assist students who’ve had a poor educational experience at non-profit and for-profit colleges alike with their federal and private student loans. “We understand exactly how hard it can be to cope with looming debts in the face of a struggling economy, and we’ve taken the time to thoroughly examine the systemic options of optimized repayment and/or loan forgiveness, so that you can take the shortest path to moving forward. This is by no means an intention to slander or defame colleges like Mountain State University in any way. There are enough credible sources that we felt prompted to take action and offer our insights to any student faced with overwhelming debt or institutional injustice.”

Student Loan Forgiveness – To see if you qualify, call (844) 692-6684.

What is arguably the national crisis of total student loan debt currently exceeds 1 trillion dollars, according to a report by the Consumer Protection Bureau, and there have been widespread government initiatives to provide the opportunity for partial or total student loan forgiveness, as well as entrepreneurial social movement to provide real expediting services (at affordable prices for all), in the interests of restoring the balance of our economy.

American Student Aid is one service that helps students navigate the options and programs offered by the Department of Education, and provides real guidance for pursuing consolidation, reduction, and even total forgiveness of both federal and private student loans.

Because forgiveness applications can be so complex, services like American Student Aid provide a badly needed service to the thousands of Americans suffering from crippling, and in some cases unjust, student loans. American Student Aid’s core staff are dedicated young entrepreneurs, committed to providing a “smart fix” to this national problem, offering “no-strings” consultations, affordable pricing, and swift resolution. With more solutions-oriented services like American Student Aid entering the market place, it will be interesting to see what can be done about the national student loan debt. To see if you qualify, call (844) 692-6684.

Student Loans Involving For-Profit Colleges Made Through Credit Unions Escape Regulation

NEW YORK — Credit Unions have been at the margins of the student loan crisis, yet they make student loans. The Center for American Progress, the United States Student Organization, Veterans for Educational Success and five other groupsprotested the role of credit union service organizations (CUSO) in partnering with for-profit colleges, particularly ITT Tech, in a July 30 letter to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the federal credit union regulator.

The letter noted that ITT Tech has spent more on marketing and executive compensation than on classroom instruction. Overall, 20% of students who left ITT Tech end up defaulting on their student loans. In May, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed fraud charges against ITT Educational Services, its CEO Kevin Modany and its CEO Daniel Fitzpatrick.

“We are deeply disturbed about the role of credit unions and credit union service organizations (CUSO) that partnered with for-profit colleges to offer predatory student loans,” the letter stated. “In particular, ITT Educational Services, the controversial for-profit college chain allegedly developed a scheme to issue high-cost private student loans to its students through a CUSO.” CUSOs are corporate entities in which federally chartered credit unions own a minority stake.

The letter also alleged that Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union along with six state-chartered credit unions partnered with ITT to offer these loans to ITT students. The Rochdale Group, a credit union consulting firm, recruited credit unions to partner with ITT through the CUSO Student CU Connect.

“Credit Unions should help students chart a bright future, lot load them unmanageable student debt,” said Maggie Thompson, campaign manager for Higher Ed, Not Debt in a statement. “Banks and credit unions should steer clear of for-profit colleges that mislead students, veterans, and taxpayers.”

The coalition demanded that that the NCUA determine whether ITT’s credit union partners adhered to the NCUA’s requirements and if not, consider enforcement actions.

But the buck stopped there.

So what options do the students who are feeling angry, abandoned, helpless have at this moment?

There is help to uncover the options available. Options which include lowering your student loan payment and portions of your loans being forgiven. While ITT Tech may have left their students feeling stranded and helpless, there are choices those students can make to get to where they want to be in their educational and financial future. Call us at (844) 692-6684 to see if you qualify for loan forgiveness.

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Ashford University under Investigation for Loans, Marketing

Bridgepoint Education Inc., owner of for-profit Ashford University, said it’s under investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for its lending and marketing practices.

Bridgepoint (NYSE: BPI) and Ashford received civil investigative demands from the agency on Aug. 10 related to advertising, marketing and loans to students as part of a probe of for-profit colleges, Bridgepoint said in a statement on Friday.

Both the company and Ashford expect to provide documents, testimony and other information to the CFPB and can’t predict the scope or outcome of the investigation, San Diego-based Bridgepoint said.

In the midst of this investigation, many students from Ashford University are qualifying for loan forgiveness. Call us at (844) 692-6684 or fill out the form below to see if you qualify.

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Death of a Diploma Mill: University of Phoenix Going Down in Flames?

A phoenix is a bird that rises from the ashes, but the University of Phoenix is a diploma mill that may soon go down in flames.

On Wednesday, University of Phoenix’s parent company Apollo Education Group announced that the business and marketing practices of the for-profit school are now under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). CNNMoney reports that Apollo will “cooperate fully” with the FTC investigation, which requires them to provide the federal agency with documents on their finances, marketing, accreditation, and military recruitment practices from the last four years.

Apollo’s stock (APOL) predictably took a nosedive following the announcement.

For the University of Phoenix, which is the largest for-profit higher education institution in the U.S. with an emphasis on online programs, a federal investigation is the latest in a long series of disasters that could topple a once-thriving enterprise.

With this latest investigation, University of Phoenix is under particular scrutiny for recruiting veterans. The Associated Press reports that the school’s online program has collected over $488 million in tuition and fees from veterans, not including the hundreds of millions in GI Bill money that individual campuses have collected. Over the last several years, the school has come under fire for allegedly soaking up this GI money while leaving veterans strapped with debt.

New federal rules require schools with career-training programs to produce graduates who can repay their student loans in order to receive federal student aid. For a school that already has notoriously low graduation rates, this bar may be out of reach.

According to Department of Education data, the University of Phoenix online campus has a graduation rate of 7.3 percent and a loan default rate of 19 percent—5 percent higher than the national average. A report from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) claims that 24,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were enrolled in the online program last year.

Earlier this month, that CIR report prompted Senator Richard Durbin to ask the Department of Defense to investigate allegations pertaining to the school’s recruiting on military bases.

In response to Wednesday’s news of the FTC investigation, Durbin released a statement saying, “I wish I could say I am surprised by the news that the FTC is investigating the University of Phoenix for unfair and deceptive practices, but these allegations are all too familiar when it comes to the for-profit college industry.”

The investigation also comes after a long line of financial defeats for the for-profit school.

In 2012, University of Phoenix shuttered 115 of its physical locations and laid off over 4 percent of its staff. These closings came on the heels of a damning 2010 report by The Education Trust (PDF) that found the school had a six-year graduation rate of only 9 percent for students seeking a bachelor’s degree.

Student debt, on the other hand, seems to be a fairly reliable outcome for University of Phoenix students. In 2013, USA Today listed several of its campuses as “red flag” schools for posting graduation rates that were significantly lower than the rates of students defaulting on their loans—in Metro Detroit, for example, graduation rates were just 10 percent, but over 25 percent of students defaulted on their loans.

The school has also come under scrutiny for its enrollment of veterans in the past. Last July, the state of California asked the University of Phoenix to halt veteran enrollment in seven of its programs to prevent violations of the Veterans Affairs 85/15 rule, which requires that programs do not enroll more than 85 percent veterans. The rule is intended to prevent schools from exploiting federal aid for veterans.

This seemingly endless stream of bad news has taken its toll on the school’s bottom line: tuition. According to a CNNMoney report from March of this year, University of Phoenix enrollment has dropped from 460,000 students five years ago to 213,000—a precipitous 54 percent dip.

Apollo declined further comment to AP about the FTC investigation into the University of Phoenix and has not released further statements. The federal government, on the other hand, has already warned that other for-profit schools with poor performance numbers could be next.

In a July statement, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said: “The clock is ticking for bad actors in the career college industry to do right by students. We know many have taken steps to improve or to close programs that underperform, but we believe there is more work to be done across the board so students get what they pay for: solid preparation for a good job.”

In the midst of this investigation, many students from the University of Phoenix are qualifying for loan forgiveness. Call us at (844) 692-6684 or fill out the form below to see if you qualify.

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DeVry Lawsuit Spurs Loan Forgiveness

The Obama administration’s plan to forgive the federal loans of Walden University students could usher in an unprecedented number of debt forgiveness requests from borrowers at other for-profit schools and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Many students that attend for-profit institutions such as DeVry get training, but no jobs. Many debt holders have accumulated loans they cannot ever afford to pay back. Because DeVry is publicly traded, the pressure is on for them to make a profit to make their shareholders happy. Another reason tuition is so costly is the salary for the leaders in the company. DeVry University President Daniel Hamburger earned $6.4 million in 2012. In contrast, the president at Harvard university earned about $900,000 – and she is one of only four presidents at public universities to earn such a high salary.

For-profit institutions such as DeVry operate as a business, with shareholders and a corporate organizational structure, that sell education as a product. With profit being the major incentive, DeVry must find ways to attract students to enroll, spending large amounts of their total revenue on sales and marketing. DeVry is in fact one of the largest advertisers on google. Acceptance rates are high and tuition is about twice the cost as that of non-profit institutions, with only about 31.5 percent of students graduating versus 57 percent of students at non-profit institutions.

If you attended DeVry and have Federal Student Loan Debt you need to contact us to learn if you can have your loans forgiven or your monthly payments reduced with an income driven federal relief program.

While the offer is open to students at any type of institution, it has the greatest implications for those at for-profit colleges. Some of the biggest names in the industry, including ITT Tech, DeVry University and Kaplan University, are under government investigation for deceptive recruitment tactics or falsifying job placement and graduation rates.

There is help to uncover the options available. Options which include lowering your student loan payment and portions of your loans being forgiven. While DeVry may have left their students feeling stranded and helpless, there are choices those students can make to get to where they want to be in their educational and financial future. Call us at (844) 692-6684 or fill out the form below to see if you qualify for loan forgiveness.

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An unprecedented number of borrowers from Walden University could soon qualify for student debt forgiveness

The Obama administration’s plan to forgive the federal loans of Walden University students could usher in an unprecedented number of debt forgiveness requests from borrowers at other for-profit schools and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

In announcing steps Monday to make it easier for Walden University students to get debt relief, the Education Department extended the offer to all students who believe they have been defrauded by their colleges. The department will consider erasing the federal debt of students who can prove a school used illegal or deceptive tactics in violation of state law to persuade them to borrow money for college.

While the offer is open to students at any type of institution, it has the greatest implications for those at for-profit colleges. Some of the biggest names in the industry, including ITT Tech, DeVry University and Kaplan University, are under government investigation for deceptive recruitment tactics or falsifying job placement and graduation rates.

There is help to uncover the options available. Options which include lowering your student loan payment and portions of your loans being forgiven. While Walden University may have left their students feeling stranded and helpless, there are choices those students can make to get to where they want to be in their educational and financial future. Call us at (844) 692-6684 or fill out the form below to see if you qualify for loan forgiveness.

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