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Can My Son Get Out From Under His Broadcasting School Student Loans? – Tammy

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Question:

Dear Steve,

My son attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in Pittsburgh several years back. He borrowed $15,000, which I have been paying for him as he makes very little money. He is not working in the industry at all.

I can no longer afford to make his payments and he can’t either. He works as a teacher aide for $12.00 per hour and has a mild disability (he received SSI while growing up but did not continue when he became an adult).

One of the things CSB offered was the graduates would have lifelong access to studios around the country to continue practicing and creating demos as needed. My son especially needed this due to his disability. We knew it would take a long time for him to develop his skills.

Would the closure of these studios constitute fraud? I believe the school has resurfaced under another name. Are you aware of anyone successfully getting out of the loans for CSB?

Thank you and really appreciate the work you do!

Tammy

Answer:

Dear Tammy,

Thank you so much for writing to me for advice.

The Connecticut School of Broadcasting has apparently had a troubled history. I’m not sure when your son attended. It looks like the school filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and was repurchased by the founder. I could not find a current location in Pittsburgh.

There are two issues here. The first is if your son graduated and obtained the degree it will be hard to say he did not obtain the benefit from attending.

However, earning a certification or degree is by no means a ticket to a good job. I think this comment from someone regarding Connecticut School of Broadcasting and other such schools is a good summary:

“Here’s my issue with CSB – they’ll take anyone’s money with the promise of getting them into broadcasting. Many people fork over a lot of money with dreams of raking in the dough on TV or on the radio. The problem with this is that if a person doesn’t have the natural, raw talent, they’re not going to make it no matter how much money they spend or where they take classes. Juilliard makes you audition for a spot at their school, if you’re not coming into the school with some level of natural talent that they can refine, they’re not going to waste their time or your time and money. However, while CSB purports to put you through an “audition”, we’ve already seen postings here saying that this is simply for show.” – Source

I recently answered a question for someone in film school debt that applies to this situation as well.

In general, schools that charge high tuition for creative degrees like film school, broadcasting, or even culinary school are a serious gamble. I think an argument can be made that the best path to success in those fields is not the formal education but talent and opportunity.

But that’s probably all water under the bridge at this point.

What we are left with is the probable private student loan debt that you can’t afford for your son who attended the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and has not been able to pursue a job in the field. It sounds as if it is unlikely to expect he will be able to secure a broadcasting job.

You ask if the closure of studio space would constitute a fraudulent act. But the issue here is that it has no apparent bearing on his probable private student loans even if it was. Unlike federal student loans that have do have a student loan forgiveness program based on the fraudulent acts, private student loans have no such provision.

You would probably need to file a lawsuit against the school to pursue the fraudulent act theory. You’d need to consult with a consumer attorney who is licensed in your state. One place to find such an attorney is at ConsumerAdvocates.org.

I took a look at federal suits that might have been filed against the school and there were not any. So your attorney would have to search state court records.

Without knowing the lender behind the loans I can’t comment on the ability to get out from under those loans. If you could let me know who the student loan lender is behind his loans, in the comments, I could look further into it.

Regarding your inability to afford them, the math is what it is. I would suggest you read Top 10 Reasons You Should Stop Paying Your Unaffordable Private Student Loan to better understand what options may be available when you default.


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