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July 28, 2017

The U.S. Education Department on Friday said no new claims have been approved since Inauguration Day for thousands of former for-profit college students hoping to get their student loans forgiven, including more than a thousand people here in Massachusetts.

Last year, the Obama Administration promised tens of thousands of students from the now-defunct for-profit college chains Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute that their student loan debt would be wiped out since those schools lied about graduation and job placement rates.

More than 96,000 students have filed for relief. About a third of them were approved by the Obama administration.

In June, the Trump administration put the Obama-era regulations on hold.

The Education Department, which remains severely understaffed, tells WGBH News it is working on the backlog, and not only are more than 65,000 claims pending review, the administration can't even begin to look at new applications.

"We certainly have a lot of work to do,” said Elizabeth Hill, the Education Department’s press secretary, in a phone interview. “We are working on a process to adjudicate all of these claims."

Earlier: While For-Profit College Students Wait, Trump Administration Stalls

NPR Ed: The Days May Be Numbered For Corinthian Colleges' Accreditor

confronting cost, for-profit, increasing access and success

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