Corinthian College Students Sort Through Confusion, Bureaucracy After Company’s Fall

by Katy Murphy, Contra Costa Times

Young African-American man


Six months after the unprecedented demise of a career-college giant mired in allegations of fraud and deception, thousands of former Corinthian College students are still sorting through the mess they were left with in April when the last 28 of the company’s high-priced schools – most of them, in California – closed.

The Corinthian story drew widespread media attention and calls from political leaders to help those who had been exploited by the for-profit, Santa Ana-based chain. But instead of relief for loans that can run to tens of thousands of dollars, many have found little but confusion and bureaucracy. And this month Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that sought to help former Corinthian students weigh their options through expanded legal assistance programs.

Consider this: Despite an extraordinary step by the U.S. Department of Education this summer to make some 40,000 Heald College students enrolled as far back as 2010 eligible for student loan forgiveness through a much-simplified process, less than one-sixth had filed such claims by mid-October, according to preliminary figures and estimates from the department.

It’s not surprising to Tiffany Johnson, a former Heald student who said she has watched her fellow classmates sort through the myths and misinformation, agonizing over what to do — whether to transfer their credits, for instance, or to apply for a federal loan discharge and start over.

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