June 9, 2015

Statement on U.S. Department of Education’s Announcement to Forgive Corinthian Student Debt

Department Offers Debt Relief Through Path of Most Resistance to Students

Liz Cattaneo liz (at) jwj.org or 202-393-1044 x104

Washington, D.C. — After months of pressure from former Corinthian College students and their allies, the U.S. Department of Education decided it would offer a form of debt relief to students who were victims of fraud and illegitimate debt. The following is a statement from Jobs With Justice’s Debt-Free Future organizer Chris Hicks in response:

“The Education Department’s announcement to provide limited debt relief to former Corinthian College students who are victims of systemic fraud, predatory lending schemes, and more, falls far short of what students deserve. While there is no doubt that students were wronged and used to generate profit, the Department of Education has decided that the burden of proof for debt relief should fall on individual students. We continue to stand by the Corinthian 100 debt strikers and their simple message to the department: ‘we owe you nothing.’”

“Rather than providing immediate and automatic debt cancellation, the department has created a path of most resistance for former Corinthian College students. Only those who hear about their debt relief options and have the necessary resources will be in a position to navigate the agency’s red tape to receive the relief everyone saddled with illegitimate debt deserves.”

”In the past, when similar systems were created to provide debt relief to students who were lied to by their colleges, only six percent were able to request that their debt be cancelled. The Education Department’s decision to continue to use this system guarantees that thousands of students will never escape their illegitimate debt issued by the agency.”

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