Secretary Betsy DeVos

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Education Department is forgiving student loans for more than 1,500 borrowers who attended a pair of for-profit colleges that shut down last year.

Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Friday that students who attended the Art Institute of Colorado and the Illinois Institute of Art from Jan. 20, 2018, through the end of last year will have their federal loans canceled.

Former students from both schools sued DeVos in October and demanded loan forgiveness, alleging the department illegally disbursed funding to the schools even after they had lost accreditation.

But the department blames the schools’ accreditor, saying it harmed students by giving the schools a “newly developed and improperly defined accreditation status.”

DeVos said she her agency is “committed to holding institutions and accreditors accountable to the students they serve.”