SACRAMENTO June 5, 2017 – A week after announcing an outreach program and urging Corinthian Colleges Inc. students to apply for loan relief, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today demanded that the U.S. Department of Education quickly act on these requests. The Department of Education has already found that Corinthian Colleges targeted low-income, vulnerable students through false advertisements that misrepresented job placement rates and the value of school programs. Attorney General Becerra joined the Attorneys General of 18 states and the District of Columbia in a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calling for no delay in reviewing and approval of student loan forgiveness applications.
“While students pursued a college degree, this so-called higher education institution preyed on their aspirations and tried to steal their American Dream,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Colleges, especially those that operate as for-profit institutions, must be held accountable. Secretary DeVos must act quickly to review and approve relief for these students. At the California Department of Justice, we will continue working to ensure that all who seek higher education can do so without worrying about unscrupulous purveyors of sham college education.”
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In their letter, the Attorneys General also asked Secretary DeVos to provide information on what the Department is doing to rectify the growing backlog of applications, a timeframe for discharge of the student debt, and to abandon the application process altogether and automatically discharge all eligible loans.
About 27,000 students nationwide, including thousands in California, who have already been approved for loan forgiveness have yet to see their loans discharged. Some students are nearing the end of 12-month forbearances on their loans and face restarting monthly payments on debts that should be forgiven.
“Relieving these hard-working Americans of their fraud-induced student debt will free them to participate more fully in their local economies, or even continue their educations with reputable schools,” the Attorneys General write.
The California Attorney General’s Office led the charge against Corinthian and its subsidiaries, seeking to put an end to abusive practices that left students under a mountain of debt and far too often without the jobs Corinthian had falsely promised its degrees would provide. The Office ultimately obtained a $1.1 billion judgment against Corinthian on March 23, 2016.