Corinthian Colleges Students Unlikely To See $1.2 Billion Judgment

by Roxana Kopetman and Mark Muckenfuss, Orange County Register

student_loans-smA nearly $1.2 billion judgment against defunct, Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges is unlikely to find its way to the students who once attended the company’s now-shuttered schools, experts said Thursday.

In a case believed to be the largest consumer-protection judgment against a school, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled against the once-mammoth Corinthian chain, which until last year included campuses in Santa Ana and Anaheim.

The court awarded $820 million in restitution on behalf of students, and $350 million in civil penalties.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who filed a complaint with the court in 2013, hailed the judgment as a victory that will send “a clear message: There is a cost to this kind of predatory conduct.”

The judgment also will help students and advocates who argue they should not have to pay for private and federal loans because of the chain’s illegal conduct, Harris’ office said in a statement.

But experts said recovery of the judgment is unlikely. And some students and their advocates said they haven’t yet gotten what they really need: release from school-loan debts.

In California, 13,000 students were attending Corinthian schools when the doors shut.

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