Attorney General Phil Weiser secures debt relief for 7,400 CollegeAmerica students
July 25, 2023 (DENVER)—Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser applauded today’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Education will deliver $130 million in automatic loan forgiveness for 7,400 students who attended Colorado-based locations of CollegeAmerica between January 1, 2006, and July 1, 2020.
The Department found that CollegeAmerica’s parent company, the Center for Excellence in Higher Education (CEHE), made widespread misrepresentations about the salaries and employment rates of its graduates, the programs it offered, and the terms of a private loan product it offered. The Department used evidence provided by Attorney General Weiser, who led a multi-year investigation and lawsuit against CEHE and its leadership.
In August 2020, a Denver District Court judge found that CollegeAmerica’s marketing and admissions operations violated state consumer protection and consumer lending laws. While the case was on appeal, Weiser asked the Department in June 2022 to cancel the loans for students who qualify and to return money former students paid to the Department of Education because of CEHE’s misrepresentations about the school.
“I applaud the Department of Education for providing much-deserved relief to the many Coloradans who were mistreated by CollegeAmerica,” Weiser said. “CollegeAmerica knowingly took advantage of students by luring them into high-priced, low-quality programs with promises of high-earning potential and job placement that it knew were not attainable. Protecting borrowers from predatory lending and helping Coloradans navigate through student loan burdens will continue to be a priority for our office.”
“This announcement means a clean slate for thousands of students hurt by CollegeAmerica’s widespread misconduct,” said Federal Student Aid Chief Richard Cordray. “The close partnership between the Department of Education and Attorney General Weiser’s office made this action possible. We will continue to work to deliver targeted student loan relief to borrowers whose schools take advantage of them.”
Weiser leads the Colorado Department of Law in a commitment to defending Colorado student loan borrowers and holding predatory schools and student loan servicers accountable for deceiving and misleading students. Since 2019, the Department of Law has secured over $320 million in refunds or debt relief for over 23,400 Coloradans.
The Colorado Student Loan Servicers Act created a student loan ombudsperson in the attorney general’s office as a resource for student loan borrowers throughout the state. The ombudsperson is responsible for receiving, reviewing, and attempting to resolve complaints from student loan borrowers. Borrowers with questions about their student loans, including former Colorado students from CEHE schools like CollegeAmerica, can click here.