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MA Students at Predatory Art Colleges Will Have Loans Forgiven: AG

MASSACHUSETTS – Thousands of Massachusetts students who attended a now-closed chain of “predatory” art colleges will have their loans forgiven, according to Attorney General Andrea Campbell and the U.S. Department of Education.

About 3,500 students who attended Arts Institute colleges between 2004 and 2017 — including the former New England Institute of Art in Brookline — will see a total of about $80 million forgiven.

The now bankrupt Education Management Corporation operated over 100 Arts Institute colleges in the United States. The last school closed in September.

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“These predatory, for-profit schools have harmed vulnerable students for their own financial gain, leaving student borrowers burdened with debt and without viable work or financial prospects,” Campbell said in a news release Wednesday. “Thanks in part to the diligent work of my office, I, along with the Department of Education, am extremely proud to announce significant debt relief for former Art Institutes students and help advance consumer and economic justice for these troubled borrowers.”

After a state lawsuit in 2018, the New England Institute of Art was found to have violated the state's consumer protection law by lying to students about what kinds of jobs they would get after graduation. Tuition at the New England Institute of Art was nearly $19,000 per year, not including room and board.

In total, 315,000 former Arts Institute students will have about $6.1 billion in debt forgiven.

Anna Harden

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