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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