LA TIMES: Future uncertain for students caught up in Corinthian’s collapse

Career College Central Summary:

  • Tiffany Johnson wishes that she could put Heald College behind her and get a fresh start elsewhere.
  • But as one of tens of thousands of students caught up in the collapse of Corinthian Colleges Inc., her options are bleak: Continue pursuing what she believes will be a worthless credential, or drop out with nearly $26,000 in debt.
  • "I feel like I'm just stuck," said Johnson, 26, a medical assisting student at Heald College-Hayward in the East Bay. "I have no choice. I'm going to have to finish."
  • Orange County-based Corinthian Colleges is preparing to sell off the bulk of its schools amid federal and state investigations. Meanwhile, students at nearly 85 schools across the country have been in a months-long limbo as the for-profit college company and the U.S. Department of Education sought buyers who could ensure a proper transition.
  • Corinthian and the Education Department announced a deal last week that would allow a nonprofit student loan servicer to purchase 56 of the company's schools for $24 million. Corinthian is still looking to sell nearly three dozen other schools, most of which are in California.
  • Many students say they would prefer to start over and have their loans forgiven. Advocacy groups question why the Education Department hasn't given students such an option.
  • "In this entire process, students have had very, very little to say about what happens to them," said Robyn Smith, a former deputy attorney general in California who now works with the National Consumer Law Center. "I'm sure there are quite a few students who want to finish and continue, but quite a few other students don't want to continue at a company that is offering a questionable education."

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