ITT students encouraged to sign up at community colleges

- Seven-hundred and fifty Illinois students are among thousands nationwide who were caught off guard this week when ITT Tech closed its doors.

On Friday, they were encouraged to sign up at community colleges.

“I knew how this story was going to end. Eventually this so called college was going to go out of business. It happened,” Senator Dick Durbin said.

It happened on Tuesday. And now, nationwide, some forty-thousand ITT Tech students are grappling with where to go next. Senator Durbin and Attorney General Lisa Madigan have now offered an answer.

“The community colleges throughout Illinois provide a wonderful educational opportunity at a very good cost,” Madigan said.

Many students who are deeply in debt with student loans can request that their loans be discharged under the "Closed School Discharge" program. But they'll have to sacrifice their college credits. The alternative is to keep their student debt, and keep their credits along with it.

In addition to providing advice for ITT Tech students, Durbin and Madigan took turns slamming for profit colleges in general, and urging students to avoid them or pay a huge price.

“They find out that in fact when they were being told that they were absolutely guaranteed to get a job, there were no jobs in that area or because their degree wasn't accredited, they couldn't get a job,” Madigan said.

And with no jobs, their student loans often remain unpaid.

Senator Durbin says about forty percent of all student loan defaults nationwide come from for-profit colleges.

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