Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced a settlement with Career Education Corporation (CEC) requiring it to forgo collecting $50 million in debts owed by 6,800 Texas students who were taken advantage of by the for-profit education company’s unfair and deceptive practices.

Under terms of the assurance of voluntary compliance with Texas, 48 other states and the District of Columbia, CEC agreed to forgo collecting about $493.7 million in student loans owed by nearly 180,000 students. Nationally, the average individual debt relief is $2,750. CEC also agreed to reform its recruiting and enrollment practices.

The settlement resolves a multistate investigation into complaints that CEC failed to disclose information to prospective students about total student loan costs, transferability of credits, course offerings and job placement rates.

“This settlement provides much-needed debt relief to the many Texans who sought to better their lives through education, but, instead, were taken advantage of by CEC’s deceptive conduct,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Students are among Texas’ most valuable resources and my office will always protect them from deceptive practices.”

Illinois-based CEC 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. CEC currently offers primarily online courses through American InterContinental University (AIU) and Colorado Technical University (CTU).  

CEC has agreed to forgo collection of debts owed to it by students who either attended a CEC institution that closed before January 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.

View a copy of the settlement here: