GNOMES NEWS SERVICE: Corinthian Debt Strikers Double in Size, Gain Outside Support

Career College Central Summary:

  • What started out as a group of 15 students under the embattled Corinthian Colleges umbrella soon grew to 100 and has now ballooned to potentially involve more than 1,200 students, some of whom are graduates of other schools and are acting in solidarity with the Corinthian strikers.
  • The so-called Debt Collective on Friday announced that nearly 200 Corinthian students now are refusing to pay their federal student loans, and that 1,233 graduates of for-profit, public and private nonprofit colleges across the country will also refuse to pay back their loans if the Department of Education does not issue “a class-wide cancellation of all Corinthian student debt.”
  • The Corinthian students say they were defrauded by the for-profit college chain, which first showed signs of trouble a year ago when the Department of Education placed it under an increased level of oversight for falsifying job placement data and allegedly altering grades and attendance records. Since then, the company – which operated Heald College, Everest College and WyoTech campuses – has unraveled, selling or closing many of its campuses over several months, getting hit with a $30 million fine from the department in April and abruptly shutting down its 28 remaining campuses that month to leave 16,000 students in the lurch. 
  • Refusing to make payments on federal student loans – particularly for borrowers who would not be affected by a debt-relief deal between the department and Corinthian students – could have negative consequences. If a borrower misses payments for nine months or longer, the loans will go into default, which makes the entire unpaid balance of the loan and any interest due immediately. Default also can result in wage garnishment and the withholding of tax refunds.
  • “The fact people are standing in solidarity with defrauded Corinthian students by threatening to refuse to pay their own student loans, regardless of where they went to school, reflects a growing belief in the principle that education is a right, not a commodity, and that education should be free for all,” Debt Collective co-founder Laura Hanna said in a statement.

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