Dear Commons Community,
The saga of the for-profit but now defunct Corinthian colleges continues in what may be their last chapter. It was announced yesterday that the U.S. Department of Education was implementing a plan that would forgive the debt of students who were victimized by Corinthian. As reported by the Associated Press:
“The federal government will erase much of the debt of students who attended the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, officials announced Monday, as part of a new plan that could cost taxpayers as much as $3.6 billion.
Corinthian Colleges was one of the largest for-profit schools when it nearly collapsed last year and became a symbol of fraud in the world of higher education and student loans. According to investigators, Corinthian schools charged exorbitant fees, lied about job prospects for its graduates and, in some cases, encouraged students to lie about their circumstances to get more federal aid.
In a plan orchestrated by the Department of Education, some of the Corinthian schools closed while others were sold before the chain filed for bankruptcy this spring. The biggest question has been what should happen to the debt incurred by students whose schools were sold. The law already provides for debt relief for students of schools that close, so long as they apply within 120 days…
The amount of debt relief could be staggering. Officials estimate that some 40,000 borrowers at the Heald College alone took on more than $540 million in loans that potentially qualify for debt relief.
But the final amount could climb significantly when looking across all Corinthian Schools, which include Everest and WyoTech. In all, the department estimates that about $3.6 billion in federal loans was given to Corinthian students.
…Former officials at Corinthian Colleges couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. A former lawyer for the school said he no longer represents the chain of colleges since it went bankrupt. Most of the company’s assets have been sold and its stock worthless.”