The settlement will affect nearly 400 Idahoans, resulting in more than $850,000 in debt relief.

(Boise) – Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced a settlement with an Illinois-based education company that will result in the waiving of $493.7 million in debts owed by more than 179,000 students nationally. The settlement with Career Education Corp. (CEC) involves Idaho and 48 other states and ends an investigation that began in 2014.

In Idaho, approximately 388 students will get relief totaling approximately $862,562. Nationally, the average individual debt relief will be about $2,750.

“I’m pleased to announce that CEC has agreed to change its recruiting and enrollment practices and forego debt collection for students in Idaho and other participating states,” Wasden said. “For years, this company was less than honest with students and prospective students about the costs and other important aspects of their higher education. Doing away with these debts is the right thing to do.”

A group of attorneys general launched an investigation into CEC in January 2014. The attorneys general alleged that CEC pressured its employees to enroll students and engaged in unfair and deceptive practices. These practices included making misleading statements or failing to disclose information to prospective students on total costs, transferability of credits, program offerings and job placement rates.

As a result, some students could not obtain professional licenses and incurred debts that they could not repay nor discharge.

CEC has also agreed to pay $5 million to the states. Idaho’s share of the settlement is $75,000, which will be deposited into the Consumer Protection Fund.

CEC is based in Schaumburg, Ill., and currently offers primarily online courses through American InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University. The company has closed or phased out many of its schools over the past 10 years. Its brands have included Briarcliffe College, Brooks Institute, Brown College, Harrington College of Design, International Academy of Design & Technology, Le Cordon Bleu, Missouri College, and Sanford-Brown.

Relief eligibility

CEC has agreed to forgo collection of debts owed to it by students who either attended a CEC institution that closed before Jan. 1, 2019, or whose final day of attendance at AIU or CTU occurred on or before Dec. 31, 2013.

Former students with debt relief eligibility questions can contact CEC at 844-783-8629 or visit the CEC website.