- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 28, 2015

A group of 15 students is refusing to pay back federal student loans taken out to attend schools owned by the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges Inc.

At its height in 2010, Corinthian, a for-profit institution, enrolled more than 100,000 students in its schools across the country, which operated under the names of Everest, Heald, and WyoTech, in the U.S. and parts of Canada, The New Yorker reported Monday.

In July, the Department of Education forced Corinthian to sell or close down its schools following a slew of conflicts with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and lawsuits from the states of Massachusetts and California.

But the action did not forgive student loans owed by former Corinthian students, prompting the group of students, calling themselves the “Corinthian fifteen” to publish a letter to the Department of Education last week asking for loan forgiveness.

“We trusted that education would lead to a better life. And we trusted you to ensure that the education system in this country would do so. But Corinthian took advantage of our dreams and targeted us to make profit. You let it happen, and now you cash in,” the students wrote in the letter published on the group’s website.

“Repayment plans presented as a helping hand simply aren’t good enough. The wrong done to us is deeper than that.

“We are not alone in this fight. Corinthian’s predatory empire pushed hundreds of thousands into a debt trap. But even beyond for-profit schools, tens of millions of students are in more debt than they can ever repay. And you are the debt collector, with powers beyond a payday lender’s wildest dreams,” the students wrote.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, students across the U.S. owe about $1.1 trillion in collective unpaid loan debt.

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