Westwood College Chicago
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Westwood College Chicago
Westwood College was a private for-profit college owned by Alta Colleges Inc. with 15 campus locations in five states and online learning options. Westwood was nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Since its inception in 1986, Westwood graduated more than 37,000 students. The college closed in March 2016.
The Colorado Attorney General's office reached a settlement with the college in 2012, following a two-year investigation, in which the college did not admit any liability but agreed to pay $2 million in penalties, restitution, and attorneys fees and costs to the state. Westwood was also required to credit another $2.5 million in restitution directly to students who financed their tuition with the school's institutional financing program.
On January 18, 2012, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit citing misleading job opportunities for Westwood's criminal justice program. Westwood settled the suit in 2015 after failing to gain dismissal of the case. Westwood agreed to pay $15 million toward the loans of their criminal justice students. Shortly thereafter the college ceased admitting new students and announced that it would close in March 2016. Westwood has acknowledged that in most cases its credits will not transfer to other colleges or universities.
Further, the Department has already taken action to strengthen institutional accountability so that students are not left with mountains of debt and little payoff, particularly from fraudulent institutions. The Department has re-established the office of enforcement within Federal Student Aid that conducts investigations into institutions of higher education. The Department is also holding responsible the accreditation agencies that oversee academic quality at institutions. On August 19, Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten reaffirmed a decision to terminate federal recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). As a result, colleges currently accredited by the ACICS will now be required to fulfill additional operating conditions for continued participation in the federal student aid programs. ACICS had accredited Westwood, ITT Technical Institute, and many branches of Corinthian Colleges prior to their closure.
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The U.S. Department of Education said in a release the amount was part of $55.6 million in overall relief for more than 1,800 borrowers. The majority of the debt forgiveness was for students who attended Westwood College, which closed in March 2016 after suspending fall enrollment, according to the Denver Post. The for-profit college had at least 300 students in the Denver metro area when it closed. The additional debt relief was for students who attended Marinello Schools of Beauty and the Court Reporting Institute.
Thursday morning, current students at the two-story school in Anaheim near the Honda Center were unclear about their futures. A handful of criminal justice students huddled on a curb to the rear of the college, buying snacks from a food truck.
The U.S. Education Department continued its run of wiping out debts incurred by former students of for-profit and largely online colleges on Tuesday, announcing the forgiveness of $1.5 billion in loans taken out by people who attended Westwood College, which closed in 2015.
In August, I joined the chorus of gratitude when the Biden administration issued up to $20,000 in federal student loan forgiveness in addition to finally issuing borrower defense group discharges for former Westwood College and ITT Tech students. This relief will help tens of millions of students, especially those who were defrauded by the unscrupulous for-profit college industry.
Despite this well-documented history of abusing students and taxpayers, the federal government has blessed and funded the for-profit college industry, and therefore shares some of the blame for allowing these colleges to thrive.
While under-delivering academically, these schools rake in Veterans Administration benefits, Pell Grants and federal student loans, using these federal dollars to market their substandard education and spending more than 20 times the amount public colleges and universities spend on advertising. Not surprisingly, 71% of students do not graduate on time or at all.
Students, faculty and staff were told Wednesday, Nov. 11, that the school had stopped enrolling new students. Unlike some other colleges that closed their doors with no warning, leaving their students stranded, Westwood officials have said they will continue teaching classes for the 600 students already enrolled in its courses.
Spokeswoman Emily Port said no enforcement agencies are currently investigating the company. She said the actual closing date for the schools has not yet been determined. The schools may look for ways to transfer students to other colleges, she said.
She had previously attended Four-D College, which shuttered its two campuses, in Colton and Victorville, without warning in July. Garcia was not a student at the college at the time of the closure, but it made her wary of other schools.
A federal judge said he will decide within a matter of days whether to allow the U.S. Department of Education to settle a class-action lawsuit, which would wipe away about $6 billion worth of student loans for around 200,000 borrowers who said their colleges misled them.
The agreement would end a lawsuit filed in 2019 that accused the Education Department of mishandling borrower defense to repayment claims, which allow borrowers defrauded by their colleges to have their federal student loan debts cleared. Plaintiffs said the department improperly delayed decisions on their claims and that the Trump administration unlawfully issued blanket denials.
In court documents filed Wednesday, the department said it has used this same authority to discharge more than $11.4 billion worth of student loans this year for borrowers who attended several shuttered for-profit colleges, including Corinthian Colleges, ITT Technical Institute and Westwood College.
The Trump administration also used this authority to wipe away debts owed by borrowers who attended certain institutions run by Dream Center Education Holdings, a college operator that was behind the sudden closure and loss of accreditation at several schools.
Around 170 raised objections, many of which argued the department should extend the relief to more people. That included borrowers who wanted their colleges to be added to the list of colleges and those who wanted federal loans that had been consolidated into private ones to be eligible for forgiveness.
Need help need advice! I need justice done now!Good afternoonI am emailing you because I never had help about the situation I was in with Westwood College in downtown Chicago they closed down in 2014.The college only filed lawsuit against criminal justice program and construction management and multimedia program got help and the business Administration and Marketing didn't get any help no lawsuit..I have been struggling with Sallie Mie, Navicat, Nelnet students all i have had was horrasment and it worsen my depression and anxiety plus no one in chicago would hire me to give me a change to train me to get the experience I needed. I gave up and went to doing something I always hated doing hair I didn't go no where with the cosmetologist license in chicago..I lost all hope with this fake BA in Business Administration in marketing my classes are not credited which they said I would get great job, and I could retake my classes as refresh courses it was a big lie I call and went before they closed to start my refreshing classes I was turned away! The financial aid just happily took all the money like it was free for me to have! Just like that I felt stupid, I feel used, I feel like ending everything because of the student loan debit I felt like a looser!It ruined my credit score!I decided to start fresh in a new state new life away from a corrupt city like chicago Illinois...Slowly maturity i am working on my credit score Slowly maturity am.I always felt embarrassed about the degree I have and debit and no experience and I have been turn down in jobs!I thought about not exciting in this life time and I would not have to deal with this ever.It has taken me so long to come back and believe in myself and to say yes I have a degree and bold in saying yes I need experience I need chance to prove myself.Question is there any way there is lawsuit on Westwood College downtown chicago illinois from [protected]I tried Google ing info on this topicI just hope there is hope still to get the forgiveness on all student loans or just give back the degreeThank you for your time. I hope you have the right direction for me to get help
Hello, My name is Charice Butler (Coleman) I am in desperate need of any kind of help you can give me! I attended Westwood College back in 2011/2012 the Dallas Campus. (8390 Lyndon B. Johnson Fwy #100 Dallas, Texas 75243) I was mislead by the school administrators, they lied about the amount I would have to pay back. I got my G.E.D. online and while I was in school the administrator's / teacher's told me that my G.E.D. was good. It turns out that it wasn't good. They told me not to worry about it they would take care of it, Westwood college staff gave me a G.E.D. with a different school name on it as if I attened school there. Westwood College administrators were applying for loans I knew nothing about until I checked my credit score. I am in debt for over 34, 000 dollars because of this school! The school closed down in April 2012, but my Medical Assistant Certificate says June 2012. The staff was not concerned if the students got an education or not, they just wanted to make sure they were going to get paid! The Department of Education won't listen to me they just want their money! I can't get a job in my field because of the college I attended. If you can help me in any way, I would really appreciate it! 59ce067264