Personal finance

Biden administration cancels $72 million in student debt for more than 2,300 borrowers

The U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.
Caroline Brehman | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday it would forgive $72 million in student debt for more than 2,300 borrowers who attended Ashford University.

The aid will go to students from the online for-profit school based in San Diego, who requested loan cancellation through the U.S. Department of Education’s borrower defense process. That relief goes to borrowers who were misled or defrauded by their college.

The department said that Ashford University made substantial misrepresentations to students between 2009 and 2020. In their applications, former students of the school described an inability to complete their programs or obtain employment.

In 2020, the University of Arizona announced a plan for its affiliated foundation to acquire Ashford University and turn it into the University of Arizona Global Campus, according to the Department of Education. The University of Arizona took direct ownership of UAGC at the end of June 2023.

The University of Arizona and UAGC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Eligible borrowers will be notified in September, the Department of Education says.

The Biden administration has so far canceled $116 billion in student debt for more than 3.4 million people through the borrower defense program, income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

President Joe Biden’s attempt at forgiving up to $20,000 of the debt for tens of millions of Americans was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court in June. Biden has since said he’ll try to reduce people’s balances another way.

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