Thousands of Students from Corinthian Colleges Offered Federal Debt Relief

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Thousands of students who were defrauded by Corinthian Colleges, the shuttered for-profit provider that oversaw hundreds of campuses across the country, can have their student loans forgiven, the Department of Education announced Friday.

“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,” Secretary of Education John King said. “Corinthian was more worried about profits than about students’ lives.”

In total, the Education Department has made findings of fraud against more than 100 of Corinthian’s campuses. Friday’s announcement provides a path to student loan forgiveness for students who attended Corinthian schools operated under its Everest and WyoTech brands – 91 schools in total across 20 states.

“Through these important partnerships with states’ attorneys general, we are pleased to offer relief to Corinthian students who were defrauded,” King said. “And we will continue to take action to protect students and taxpayers from unscrupulous companies trying to profit off of students who simply want to better their lives.”

So far, the department has approved loan discharges for more than 8,800 former Corinthian students nationwide, totaling more than $130 million, according to a new report released Friday by Joseph Smith, the department’s special appointee who is handling the debt relief process.

Smith has been working with attorneys general in a handful of states to identify wrongdoing that could provide former Corinthian students a basis for relief under federal law.

King is set to make the loan forgiveness announcement official Friday afternoon in Boston with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, whose office helped uncover evidence that Corinthian’s two Everest Institute campuses in Massachusetts misrepresented their job placement rates to enrolled and prospective students.

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SOURCE: U.S. News & World Report, Lauren Camera