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Old February 25th, 2015, 11:18 AM   #1
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'Corinthian 15' Challenge Education Department By Refusing To Repay Federal Student L

'Corinthian 15' Challenge Education Department By Refusing To Repay Federal Student Loans

Last November, Latonya Suggs, a 28-year-old Cincinnati woman with an infant son, went to a hotel ballroom in Southern California and told two of the federal government's top education officials that the U.S. Department of Education had failed her.

The previous month, Suggs had graduated from Everest University, a for-profit college, with a degree in criminal justice. Her online program, one of many owned by Corinthian Colleges Inc., saddled her with more than $70,000 in debt. She had hoped the degree would lead to a career as a probation officer. Instead, she could only find work as a hotel housekeeper, she told Education Undersecretary Ted Mitchell and Deputy Assistant Secretary Lynn Mahaffie, according to a transcript of the event. Suggs is now unemployed.

Corinthian, once one of the nation's largest for-profit college chains with more than 110,000 students, is effectively shutting down under the weight of numerous state and federal probes that allege it cheated students by lying to them about job placement and graduation rates. Though the chain has previously disputed allegations from state and federal authorities that it defrauded students, it recently sold more than 50 campuses under pressure from the U.S. Department of Education, and Canadian authorities last week forced another 14 into bankruptcy.

A contingent of former students, backed by prominent student advocates, the Massachusetts attorney general and more than a dozen Senate Democrats, has demanded the Education Department forgive federal student loans that thousands of people took out to attend Corinthian's schools. The department has the authority to cancel loans in instances where students demonstrate that schools defrauded them. Lawyers from the Department of Justice have argued that Education Secretary Arne Duncan has "complete discretion" when it comes to canceling loans for all students at a particular institution if he determines it defrauded students, even absent a formal application from individual borrowers.

But in the case of Corinthian, the Education Department has done almost everything it can to avoid forgiving any taxpayer-backed debt incurred by current and former Corinthian students.

In response, Suggs and 14 other former Corinthian students announced on Monday that they will not repay any federal student loans they took out to attend Corinthian's schools. They're calling it a debt strike.
I respect their decision. This is as bad as the mortgage scams where the criminals took hold of the debt of the poor. LYING to students and then NOT having jobs for them is criminal. This group of for profit corporations running educational scams should serve time; right after the Wall Street bankers do.
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