ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN HIGHLIGHTS RESOURCES FOR PROSPECTIVE, CURRENT, FORMER STUDENTS IN STATE FAIR TENT
Springfield —Attorney General Lisa Madigan today encouraged students and their families to visit her tent at the 2016 Illinois State Fair.
Madigan’s tent offers many free resources and details the ways students can contend with the rising costs of higher education – from choosing the right and affordable choice for college to reducing textbook costs, understanding your rights as a tenant and managing student loan debt. Madigan’s tent also provides free resources to avoid the increasing numbers of scam artists seeking to take advantage of student loan borrowers.
“Students have so much to contend with,” Madigan said. “I encourage students and their families visiting the State Fair to stop at our tent to find out some simple and free ways to manage the increasing costs of higher education and student loan debt.”
Education-related complaints now rank number seven among the top 10 types of consumer complaints Madigan’s office receives each year, reflecting the growing student loan debt crisis. Madigan has taken extensive and aggressive action to help student borrowers as estimates show that approximately 40 million Americans hold $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.
Among the many resources at the Attorney General’s State Fair tent, Madigan urged students to consider the following tips to choose a college, manage textbook costs, understand your rights as a tenant and manage student loans.
Choosing a College:
Attorney General Madigan is a national leader in investigating and enforcing consumer protection violations in the higher education field. Madigan is currently leading an investigation into Navient, formerly Sallie Mae, which is the largest servicer of student loan debt in the country. Madigan has testified before Congress and urged the U.S. Department of Education to crack down on the many abuses and scams facing student borrowers.
Madigan was the first attorney general in the country to crack down on a new industry of student loan debt relief scams, which seek out student loan borrowers who are desperate for help to avoid their loans and scam them into paying money to help with their debt. In reality, once these scams take upfront fees from borrowers, they do little to any work to help them with their payments. Madigan has also cracked down on fraudulent practices in the for-profit college industry, reaching settlements with Westwood College and Education Management Corporation (EDMC), which operates five Illinois Institute of Art and Argosy University campuses.
Madigan also created a free Student Loan Helpline to provide student borrowers with free resources about repayment options, avoiding default or to file a complaint about loan servicing at (800) 455-2456 (TTY: 1-800-964-3013). More information can also be found on her website.
Attorney General Madigan also initiated the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act to keep college students safe. Effective this month, the Act requires colleges and universities in Illinois to take steps to prevent and address sexual assaults. The Act requires Illinois colleges and universities to develop clear comprehensive campus sexual violence policies that include training for student and campus employees to prevent sexual violence and improve awareness and responsiveness.