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Jayapal, Warren, Durbin, Brown, and Takano Lead Members in Urging the Department of Education to Discharge Debt for Defrauded Corinthian College Students

The letter calls out the prolonged delay from the Department of Education in relieving the federal student loans of former for-profit students from defunct colleges  

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07), U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH),  and U.S. Representative Mark Takano (D-CA-41) led members of Congress in a letter to the Department of Education (ED) calling out the prolonged delay in discharging the loans of students defrauded by the former Corinthian College, Inc. (Corinthian) and other for-profit colleges. In 2015, former ED Secretary Arne Duncan promised the department would ensure that defrauded students would be relieved of their debt. Seven years later, that has yet to happen. 

“ED’s prolonged delay continues to harm the victims of Corinthian and other predatory for-profit institutions who were placed into default before they filed borrower defense, had their wages garnished even after having their borrower defense claims approved, and continue to have negative reporting on their credit,” said the lawmakers. 

According to the Department’s own findings, Corinthian misrepresented job placement rates to students between 2010 and 2014; systematically lied to students that they were guaranteed employment; and falsely assured students that the credits they earned at Corinthian campuses would be transferrable to other institutions. For-profit institutions have a long history of predatory recruitment tactics. According to one study, for-profit colleges and universities enroll only about 10% of all college students but account for half of all student loan defaults. Black and Latino students are disproportionately impacted by for profit institutions. They represent nearly half of all students who attended for-profit institutions despite only accounting for about a third of all college students. 

The members have long led the call for providing the debt relief defrauded students are owed. They introduced the Coronavirus Emergency Borrower Defense Act in May 2020 that would have fully discharged student loans for defrauded students. 

A copy of the letter is available here