Corinthian debt 2015
Students at Everest College in City of Industry, one of the Corinthian Colleges that closed in April 2015 after allegations of fraud.  Photograph by Al Seib — LA Times via Getty Images

Defrauded Students Entitled to Debt Forgiveness

Mar 25, 2016

At last, there’s a silver lining for former students of the now defunct Corinthian Colleges: On Friday, the U.S. Department of Education said Friday it will create a way for the students at 91 different Corinthian campuses to get their student loan debt forgiven. The scandal-ridden for-profit educational institution has been embroiled in lawsuits over misleading job placement rates and lending practices.

This comes a day after a judge slapped the for-profit school with a $1.1 billion penalty for lying students. As my colleague Kerry Close reported:

The Santa Ana, Calif.-based company advertised programs and degrees that it didn’t actually offer and practiced unlawful debt collection methods, like barring students who were behind on their loan payments from attending class.

And while over $800 of the billion-plus settlement is supposed to go to students, it is unlikely that they’ll receive even a penny—Corinthian filed for bankruptcy in May and is heavily in debt. Luckily, today’s announcement from the Department of Education will give the students some relief.

Read Next: For-Profit College Must Pay $1.1 Billion for Duping Students

“When Americans invest their time, money and effort to gain new skills, they have a right to expect they’ll get an education that leads to a better life for them and their families. Corinthian was more worried about profits than about students’ lives,” U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. said in a statement.

According to the same statement, the Department has already approved loan forgiveness of more than $130 million for almost 9,000 former Corinthian students.

So far, students from 91 campuses in 20 states are eligible for forgiveness. For more information or to see if you are eligible for debt relief, visit the Department of Education’s website.

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