Corinthian Colleges Everest University, a Corinthian college.
Fifteen students are refusing to pay back federal student loans taken out to attend schools owned by Corinthian Colleges Inc., a network of for-profit colleges located across the US and in Canada.
The New Yorker reports that Corinthian Colleges — which at one time enrolled more than 100,000 students — has faced a host of problems over the past few years, weathering lawsuits from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the states of Massachusetts and California.
In July the Department of Education forced Corinthian to sell or close down its schools.
However, that action didn't forgive the loans owed by former Corinthian students. A group of these students — who refer to themselves as the Corinthian 15 — created a website on which they have published a letter they wrote to the Department of Education asking for loan forgiveness.
The students call for solidarity among the "tens of millions of students" who are "in more debt than they can ever repay." They're referring to the estimated $1.1 trillion of loans held by Americans, including many who attended for-profit colleges that are arguably a bad investment.
Here's the full letter published on the students' website:
TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:
19 February, 2015
Who are we? We are the first generation made poor by the business of education.
We are people living paycheck to paycheck, single mothers, and young people just starting out. We wanted an education because we were driven to learn and to achieve a better life for ourselves and for our families.
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 a profit. You let it happen, and now you cash in.
Each month you force us to make payments into an immoral system that profits from our aspirations.
We paid dearly for degrees that have led to unemployment or to jobs that don't pay a living wage. We can't and won't pay any longer.
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.
To the Department of Education and to the lenders, servicers, and guarantee agencies who have stolen our futures, we say: enough! Erase these loans.
To current and former college students across the country, we say: we stand with you to demand the end of a higher education system that profits from all our dreams. Join our fight.
We won't pay. We are the Corinthian Fifteen,
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