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I Attended Crown College With Sallie Mae Loans But They Closed Without Giving Me My Degree.

Written by Steve Rhode

“Dear Steve,

I attended Crown College out of Lakewood WA. It was an internet college and the course was Law Enforcement…; I told them I wanted to get a Masters in the subject eventually so that perhaps I could teach eventually. They said they only offered and Associates in this field and the credits were transferable and I could pick it up somewhere else; so I got a loan through Sallie Mae for this program…, I wasn’t working at the time but I was looking and eventually I found part time work. One day they said the loan covered everything…., the next day there was suddenly over $5,000 more that the loans didn’t cover and I made one payment with the help of my parents for $500.00 but when I checked the balance later on-line it showed no payment had been made so I wasn’t sure about it after that…., it has been a while but that’s how it started.

I have no degree from a college that doesn’t exist anymore because suddenly there was more owed than the loans covered by Sally Mae; I made a couple payments on this extra amount but it never seemed to change. I’ve had difficulty making the loan payments since once I was done with the college they offered absolutely none of the job placement assistance they promised; also they held back the degree because of this extra small amount the loan never covered. Now they do no exist anymore…., I do not have a degree but I am paying close to twenty thousand or more for something I do not have and never will get…., is there a way to get out of this scam? Crown College out of Lakewood WA was sued for this but I was never included in the lawsuit which I should have been; now I have nothing to show for it but my word and debt…., no degree….. Is there a way to get this debt cancelled?

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Dear Stephen,

I wish I had better news for you but unless Sallie Mae is willing to forgive or discharge your loans due to the well documented troubles of Crown College, then I’m afraid you are stuck. If these were federal student loans you’d have a better chance of success.

The good news is that here is the form to complete to ask for the loans to be forgiven. I Would complete the form and submit it to Sallie Mae along with any documentation you have to backup your claim.

On August 14, 2007 the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, served a search warrant on Crown College and seized documents and computer files connected with an alleged case of financial aid fraud, conspiracy to defraud and bank fraud by senior employees of Crown College. These employees and some of their “significant” others, were under the impression that Crown College would close and allegedly falsified loan applications and received financial aid though they did not attend Crown. They allegedly figured that the loans would be discharged when the school closed. However, when the school did not close immediately, they allegedly falsified attendance records commensurate with the loans.

On May 13, 2010, four former officers of the defunct school were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of mail and financial aid fraud. The charges stem from the August 14, 2007 investigation. The indictment named four former officers of the school: Sheila Mullineaux, Vice President; Jesica McMullin, Admissions Director and Registrar; Misty Lee, Financial Aid Director; and Jennifer Byers, Fiscal Manager and Bookkeeper.

On July 14, 2011 Jesica McMullin and Jennifer Byers were each found guilty of 7 counts of mail fraud and 1 count of financial aid fraud. Misty Lee plead guilty to similar charges, testifying to the others’ involvement in the fraud. McMullin and Byers are scheduled to be sentenced in October 2011. According to pubic accounts, Byers received just three months of home detention.

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Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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About the author

Steve Rhode

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.


  • Hi guys just stumbled across this website as I have been looking in to recourses to deal with Crown College. I attended online out of Maryland in 2003. The school swore that the credits would transfer anwywhere but they lied. Turns out they were nothing more than a for profit vocational school. No one ever contacted me about the lawsuits that were filed and I too am stuck with student loans that I feel I should not be accountable for. If anyone has a resolution to this please let me know. Thanks

  • Well they told me it was a federal loan when i was signing up for it ( Crown College did ) I checked my credit report and it’s kind of odd…, they show they opened four seperate small loans then closed them and put them all together in one big loan…, they claimed their loans were federal and government…., if they were not and I have proof they claimed they were can I do anything about that?
    Thanks for the response by the way 🙂

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