05-20-2018  4:52 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

US arrest, raids in Seattle pot probe with China ties

SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. authorities have arrested a Seattle woman, conducted raids and seized thousands of marijuana plants in an investigation into what they say is an international black market marijuana operation financed by Chinese money, a newspaper reported Saturday.Authorities are still...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

A royal wedding bridges the Atlantic and breaks old molds

WINDSOR, England (AP) — The son of British royalty and the daughter of middle-class Americans wed Saturday in a service that reflected Prince Harry's royal heritage, Meghan Markle's biracial roots and the pair's shared commitment to putting a more diverse, modern face on the monarchy.British...

First class for Mississippi school after desegregation deal

CLEVELAND, Miss. (AP) — A small Mississippi Delta town whose rival high schools were combined last year under a desegregation settlement has held its first graduation ceremony.No longer Trojans and Wildcats, they're all Wolves now at Cleveland Central High School, whose seniors collected...

ENTERTAINMENT

Reggie Lucas, who worked with Miles Davis and Madonna, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Reggie Lucas, the Grammy-winning musician who played with Miles Davis in the 1970s and produced the bulk of Madonna's debut album, has died. He was 65.The performer's daughter, Lisa Lucas, told The Associated Press that her father died from complications with his heart early...

Broadcast networks go for milk-and-cookies comfort this fall

NEW YORK (AP) — If provocative, psyche-jangling shows like "The Handmaid's Tale" are your taste, head directly to streaming or cable. But if you're feeling the urge for milk-and-cookies comfort, broadcast television wants to help.The upcoming TV season will bring more sitcom nostalgia in the...

Met says it has evidence Levine abused or harassed 7 people

NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera said in court documents Friday that it found credible evidence that conductor James Levine engaged in sexually abusive or harassing conduct with seven people that included inappropriate touching and demands for sex acts over a 25-year period.The Met...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Small clubs cross fingers for World Cup windfalls

TORCY, France (AP) — The ideal scenario for the club where Paul Pogba played football as a kid might go...

On time, on target: LeBron, Cavs pound Celtics in Game 3

CLEVELAND (AP) — Before taking the floor, LeBron James stood in the hallway with his teammates outside...

US, China agree to cut American trade deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China have agreed to take measures to "substantially reduce"...

Insect ambassadors: Honeybees buzz on Berlin cathedral

BERLIN (AP) — On the roof of Berlin's cathedral, bees are buzzing.Beekeeper Uwe Marth pulls out a honeycomb...

Love and fire: Text of Michael Curry's royal wedding address

WINDSOR, England (AP) — And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and...

Episcopal bishop Curry gives royal wedding an American flair

WINDSOR, England (AP) — Nothing quite captured the trans-Atlantic nature of Saturday's royal wedding as...

Charlene Crowell
Charlene Crowell

A college education is supposed to open the doors to life-long careers and entry into America’s middle class. Yet, students that enrolled at one of the more than 100 Corinthian College campuses across the country had college experiences characterized by predatory lending, illegal debt collections, and one-day “career” jobs. Corinthian Colleges operate schools under the names of Heald College, Everest and Wyotech.

On September 16, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against the for-profit Corinthian Colleges, seeking $569 million in forgiveness of loans. An estimated 130,000 private loans students were entered into from July 21, 2011 to the present. March 2013 enrollments totaled about 74,000 students for all of its campuses.

“We believe Corinthian lured in consumers with lies about their job prospects upon graduation, sold high-cost loans to pay for that false hope, and then harassed students for overdue debts while they were still in school,” said Richard Cordray, CFPB Director.

CFPB alleges that Corinthian used bogus advertising targeted to low-income students who were often the first generation of their family to attend college. Exploiting their limited exposure to the world of higher education, ads promised job prospects and careers that never happened. Further, its tuition costs were so high that an associate degree came with a price tag ranging from $33,000 to $43,000. The costs for a bachelor’s degree ran higher from $60,000 to $75,000.

To cover tuition and fees, students were financially forced into the college’s “Genesis loans,” created in concert with investment banks and financial institutions. These loans were much more expensive than federal loans. In July 2011, the Genesis loan interest rate was about 15 percent with an additional loan origination fee of 6 percent. At the same time, federal student interest rates ranged from 3 to 7 percent, depending upon the type of loan, and had either low or no charges for origination. Corinthian needed its loan program in order to comply with a federal law that required no more than 90 percent of an institution’s funding to come from federal sources. The lawsuit alleges that Corinthian knew that most students would default.

Worst of all, loan repayment on most of the private-label loans began as soon as students started classes. By comparison, federal loan repayments typically begin six months after students either graduate or drop out of school.

CFPB found that more than 60 percent of Corinthian students defaulted on their loans within three years. To encourage strong collection rates, CFPB alleges that Corinthian paid its staff bonuses on how well they got students to keep their loan payments current. Informing instructors about overdue debts, meetings with the campus president and pulling students from class were only three of the tactics used to shame students. If students became late on loan payments, they were denied computer access, prevented from buying books, blocked from signing up for classes and even held diplomas until repayments became current.

CFPB said even more abuses were inflicted on Corinthian students who managed to graduate. Although the schools directed students to its ‘career services office,’ only a job postings list was provided. In other instances, Corinthian paid legitimate employers to hire its graduates on a temporary basis, and then counted these jobs as part of the school’s “career” placement – even if the job lasted only a day.

The legal action taken by CFPB is not the only one Corinthian Colleges faces.

This June, the Department of Education increased its financial oversight after Corinthian failed to address concerns about its practices, including falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students and allegations of altered grades and attendance. The Department also imposed a 21-day waiting period before Corinthian could draw down federal student aid revenues tied to enrollment. A few weeks later in July, the Department of Education appointed a monitor empowered to have full and complete access to Corinthian personnel and budgets.

Additionally, Corinthian is also being investigated by 20 state attorneys general and received a federal grand jury subpoena in Florida, and another from Georgia. The Peach State is examining the colleges’ job placement, attendance and graduation, while the Sunshine State wants to know more about employee misconduct and student aid funds.

“This action by the CFPB should further encourage the Department of Education to take strong steps to hold for-profit college companies to meaningful accountability standards in the forthcoming ‘gainful employment’ rule,” said Maura Dundon, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Responsible Lending. “Students continue to be placed at risk by practices such as those documented in the Corinthian complaint. The time to act – on behalf of hopeful students across the country – is now.”

A web-based resource from Student Loan Borrower Assistance is available for current or former Corinthian students to better understand refunds, discharge rights and more.

Even more student loan developments may be forthcoming this November when the Department of Education is expected to announcement its rule on “gainful employment,” affecting all for-profit career schools.

Hopefully, the new rule will end what Director Cordray referred to as “the ongoing nightmare of financial despair.”

Charlene Crowell is a communications manager with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org

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