04-25-2018  11:47 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Event: Going Beyond the Flint Water & Housing Crises

Recode invites speakers to discuss the Flint water crisis and its relationship to gentrification, displacement, and housing crises ...

Think & Drink with Rinku Sen and Mary Li

Event takes place Wednesday, May 16, at Alberta Rose Theater ...

April 24 is Voter Registration Deadline for May 15 Primary Election

Tuesday, April 24, is voter registration and party choice deadline for May 15 Primary Election ...

Portland Libraries Celebrate National Poetry Month

April poetry events and recommended reading from Multnomah County libraries ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

The Skanner News Endorsements for May 2018 Elections

Read The Skanner News' endorsements for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland City Council and more ...

Will HUD Secretary Ben Carson Enforce the Fair Housing Act?

Julianne Malveaux questions HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s ability to enforce the Fair Housing Act ...

Waiting While Black in Philadelphia Can Get You Arrested

Reggie Shuford on the daily indignities African-Americans face in Philadelphia and around the country ...

Black People Must Vote or Reap the Consequences

Jeffrey Boney on the importance of voting in the Black community ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

A Corinthian Colleges logo
Anne Flaherty Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government will erase much of the debt of students who attended the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, officials announced Monday, as part of a new plan that could cost taxpayers as much as $3.6 billion.
Corinthian Colleges was one of the largest for-profit schools when it nearly collapsed last year and became a symbol of fraud in the world of higher education and student loans. According to investigators, Corinthian schools charged exorbitant fees, lied about job prospects for its graduates and, in some cases, encouraged students to lie about their circumstances to get more federal aid.

Education Department Will Help Students
In a plan orchestrated by the Department of Education, some of the Corinthian schools closed while others were sold before the chain filed for bankruptcy this spring. The biggest question has been what should happen to the debt incurred by students whose schools were sold. The law already provides for debt relief for students of schools that close, so long as they apply within 120 days.
The latest plan expands debt relief to students who attended a now-closed school as far back as a year ago. And it streamlines the process for students whose schools were sold but believe they were victims of fraud.
"We will make this process as easy as possible for them, including by considering claims in groups wherever possible, and hold institutions accountable," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement.

Heald College Misrepresented its Programs
As an example, the department said it has already found that many programs at a California subsidiary of Corinthian Colleges, known as Heald College, were "misrepresented" to students. So any student enrolled in that school between 2010 and 2015 would likely qualify for relief.
The amount of debt relief could be staggering. Officials estimate that some 40,000 borrowers at the Heald College alone took on more than $540 million in loans that potentially qualify for debt relief.
But the final amount could climb significantly when looking across all Corinthian Schools, which include Everest and WyoTech. In all, the department estimates that about $3.6 billion in federal loans was given to Corinthian students.
Duncan told reporters in a phone call on Monday that the department has no way of knowing how many students will come forward and ask for help.
"It's an unknown quantity at this point," he said of the final price tag.

Company Now Worthless
Former officials at Corinthian Colleges couldn't be immediately reached for comment. A former lawyer for the school said he no longer represents the chain of colleges since it went bankrupt.
Most of the company's assets have been sold and its stock worthless.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., praised the move by the administration, even as it left glaring questions about whether the government could have done more to protect students in the first place.
"It is our responsibility to hold servicers and colleges accountable to prevent future students from having to endure anything like this debacle ever again," Cummings said.
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Find out more at the US Education Department's debt relief blog.

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