How Can I Get My Full Sail University Student Loans Forgiven for Fraud? – Sonny


Dear Steve,

I have obtained loan debts through Sallie Mae for a for-profit school called Full Sail. These debts have doubled from the interest alone. I have since condensed my loans through the Obama program and my debt is now around $20k. A good chunk of my money goes to paying the minimum payment and I live in an expensive city (San Francisco) so I continually find myself trying to keep up and finding it hard to save for a family and a house like I had promised my wife after getting married last year.

I continue to try and sort through options but I continue to struggle. Any help is incredible appreciated.

What can I do? I have heard about loan forgiveness for schools that ‘have lured students to enroll with deceptive practices’ – is this actually a viable option? If so, how would one apply? If not, what options do I have to ease the pain or look to completely rid my life of this debt from a deceptive school with low graduation rates?



Dear Sonny,

Full Sail University is an interesting school. Unlike many of the for-profit schools that I’ve written about they have a much better graduation rate according to the federal government website College Scorecard. They seem to be focused on assisting their students to reach the goal of obtaining the degrees they enrolled in.


The area of weakness comes in the cost to attend the school. In that area, like many for-profit schools they are a more expensive education option than the national average.


This high cost can lead to unaffordable student loan debt and help explain why Full Sail University students do not repay their debt at the national average.


The program you are talking about is the Borrower Defense to Repayment program.

Some people have been critical of the sales efforts to attract people to Full Sail University but I think the hurdle you will need to overcome is to present the proof of fraud. The Department of Education is going to require:

  • The state and applicable law or cause of action (if available)
  • Specific acts (including failures to act) of alleged misconduct by the school
  • How the alleged misconduct affected the borrower’s decision to attend the school and take out a loan to pay to attend the school
  • The injury suffered by the borrower as a result of the school’s alleged misconduct
  • Any other supporting information that would help the U.S. Department of Education review the borrower’s claim
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In looking at the federal court cases filed against Full Sail I was actually surprised how few there were. Of the ones I looked at they appeared to be related to disability access and employment issues and no cases of enrollment fraud.

Now I’m not saying there are not any state or other federal cases that may have reached a court decision that fraud had taken place, maybe there are, but you’ll have to hunt for them. In fact Full Sail even publishes contacts to make complaints.

Anything is possible but from my point of view it appears to be a difficult case to make that you could obtain loan relief through fraudulent acts unless you can prove the acts were fraudulent and back that up with supporting evidence. The mere fact a school is substantially more expensive than the average is not a fraud. That’s a fact that incoming students must research and determine if the school provide good value for cost and is right for them.

Since you have already consolidated your federal loans, you may want to consider making sure they are in an income driven repayment program. This will give you the lowest payment available but will inflate your loan balances. However, after 20-25 years the balance can be forgiven. I would urge you to read Why Income Based Student Loan Payments Can Be a Terrible Trap. These income based programs have distinct pros and cons to be aware of.

As part of my research I went to the ProPublica project Debt by Degrees to compare the school with the University of California. I was surprised in some categories Full Sail University was the winner.


But one fact that is important is students who attended the University of California had a lower annual cost, higher graduation rates, and higher income after graduation.



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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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10 thoughts on “How Can I Get My Full Sail University Student Loans Forgiven for Fraud? – Sonny”

  1. I would love to know a legit loan forgiveness for full sail I am 82k in debt to them through private loans I need some way out I screwed when I went there.

    • When it comes to private student loans the options are more limited than they are for federal student loans. If the school was Title IV accredited when you went and you used the funds for qualified educational expenses, it is unlikely you will get much, if any, relief from the balance due.

      I find a number of people who are unhappy with the cost and education of their for-profit education. Many of these folks mad poor decisions to go there, to begin with, and have buyer remorse.

      If you used your private student loans for non-qualified educational expenses, that part of the loan may be eligible for discharge in bankruptcy. However, expect a fight from the lender. Many cases are limping through bankruptcy courts right now for discharge.

      Ultimately, this course of action will require a knowledgeable attorney to represent you. For more on this see https://getoutofdebt.org/53288/these-private-student-loans-can-be-easily-discharged-in-bankruptcy

  2. Steve, instead of looking at Full Sail on paper you need to really listen to what these people are saying and give them the benefit of the doubt. There are many of us that were lied to by Full Sail. I would not discredit anything someone says about Full Sail and false promises. They lead you in with promises of 80% job placement. When you meet with the job placement office, it was for me at least, one guy that hands you a list of recording studios and their contact number (I was in Recording Arts) and that is it. They do nothing for job placement. They just give you a printed out list of numbers that’s it. It was more like 8% of my class landing a job somewhat in their field. I have heard that they were named a predatory school in the last few years and my friend in this letter also felt the pains of Sallie Mae as I did to attend the school, which as you may know was named a predatory lender and is now Navient. These people have real pain from lies they were told, not because of poor loan management.

    • I don’t dispute you had that experience. Many others have complained of similar experiences. The problem is the Borrower Defense to Repayment program is in shambles. The burden to prove you are the victim of deception and fraud is being put back on you by the current Trump administration Department of Education.


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