18,000 PA residents who attended the Art Institute have student loans forgiven

Art institute

Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala were joined by law enforcement and community collaborators to announce a new public safety initiative in Allegheny County. Pictured here is Michelle Henry, Attorney General of Pennsylvania, delivering remarks during the event. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Feb. 1, 2024. (Photo: Commonwealth Media Services)

By Sean Kitchen

May 7, 2024

The Biden administration announced last week they were forgiving student loans for 317,000 borrowers who attended the Art Institute. This will help 18,000 Pennsylvania residents save more than $345 million.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office announced on Monday that close to 18,000 Pennsylvania residents who attended the Art Institute between 2004 and 2017 will have their student loans forgiven, bringing more than $345 million of relief to those impacted by the for-profit school.

Monday’s announcement comes almost a week after the Biden administration announced that it approved $6.1 billion in student debt forgiveness for 317,000 borrowers who attended the Art Institute.

“For-profit colleges have a long history of misleading students for a dollar,” Attorney General Michelle Henry said in a statement.

“The Art Institutes burdened thousands of students in Pennsylvania with over $300 million in debt, based on promises of lucrative job opportunities. I am grateful for the work of our federal partners, and was pleased that my office’s investigative work assisted in this massive debt relief that will help hundreds of thousands of people.”

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office worked with the Iowa and Massachusetts Attorney Generals and investigated the Art Institute’s fraudulent practices.

The school was accused of inflating rates of employment for students after graduation. The school claimed that 80% of students found a job within their field six months after graduating, but the Art Institute’s records showed otherwise.

The Art Institute was also accused of exaggerating their relationships with employers. The school told incoming students that it had partnerships with employers that would help students land jobs once they graduated, but that was fabricated.

Henry’s office stated that the school had a negative reputation and companies would normally skip over Art Institute students in the hiring process.

“The Art Institutes lured students into expensive degree programs with false promises of employment opportunities. Thanks to the diligent work of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, those borrowers will finally receive the student loan relief they deserve,” Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray said in a statement.


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.



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