Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Student Loan Bankruptcy Discharge

I Went to University of Phoenix Without Graduating from High School

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

I went to University of Phoenix back in 2002. I started going to classes onsite in Dallas but then moved to online approach when I relocated to another state. I finished the Master of Arts in Organizational Management in 2004 but have not been able to use the degree..in fact took it off my resume. It is useless. But right now have a student loan balance of 40,000.

My question..can this be discharged? According to the discharge form it says that the school should have validated the GED or High School Diploma. I do not have a high school diploma or a GED. I actually have a California High School Proficiency. Which is recognizes by California schools. But it doesn’t say in the form equal to a HS diploma but is very specific.. GED or High School Diploma

So can I ask for a discharge of my loan?

Michelle

Answer:

Dear Michelle,

You raise some interesting points that I’ve addressed before. See No GED or High School Diploma? Your Student Loans May Be Cancelled, Discharged, and Forgiven.

But there are a couple of issues that strike me. It seems like you graduated from the program and do hold a Masters degree from University of Phoenix. You might as well list it on your resume. Your ability to graduate with sufficient grades would seem to support your ability to benefit from the program.

Colleges are not required for you to have graduated from high school but to prove you have the “ability to benefit” from the education. They can secure this proof by requiring you to take assessment or placement tests.

But you say you passed the “California High School Proficiency” examination. That seems to qualify as a GED since they say, “The California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) is a testing program established by California law (Education Code Section 48412). If eligible to take the test, you can earn the legal equivalent of a high school diploma by passing the CHSPE.”

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My personal opinion is I don’t think this argument will work to satisfy your ability to discharge the student loans because you did not have a high school diploma or a GED.

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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.

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