Next Steps for Corinthian Colleges Students

Posted By Eliana Osborn on June 18, 2015 at 3:19 pm
Next Steps for Corinthian Colleges Students

For all those students left in the lurch by Corinthian Colleges, there’s finally some movement in a positive direction.  After investigations, closures, and worries about debts, former students can breathe a sigh of relief and start thinking about the next phase of their lives.

New administration and academics

First, Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) purchased part of the Corinthian College campus package through its subsidiary, Zenith.  These 53 campuses include more than 30,000 students who will be affected by changes with the new leadership.  Those changes includes a 20% cut in tuition for students enrolling from Everest Colleges (a Corinthian branch), as well as a graduation bonus—a refund of 20% of payments to go towards loan debt.

As nice as these numbers sounds, even more important in the long run is the plan to stop offering programs that weren’t leading to jobs—one of the biggest complaints from graduates and regulators.  Zenith also plans to be stricter about enrollment, helping ensure that students who start classes will actually be able to be successful in them.

Governmental help

On the government side of the equation, the Obama administration has announced a comprehensive debt relief program for Corinthian College students. Previously, only students who attended a school that actually closed could get their debts discharged or erased.

Now, loan forgiveness possibilities are available for a wider range of students.  In a new fact sheet called “Protecting Students from Abusive Career Colleges,” the Department of Education outlined their new plans, which include:

  • Streamlining the process for debt relief
  • Building a better process for future issues
  • Helping students apply for “borrower defense,” the technical term for requesting assistance
  • Pausing all payments while student claims are being processed
  • Extending debt relief to students who believe they are victims of fraud
  • Additional protections for veterans and their families

Students who have taken part in for-profit higher education ventures can look forward to a future where they can better colleges to give them correct information.  Policies in place going forward should minimize deceptive recruitment practices and allow students to make choices with full, accurate information about job possibilities after graduation.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, releasing this latest information, assured citizens, “This is our first major action on this but obviously it won’t be the last.” Corinthian College may be the first specific case where reforms happen but it’s very likely that more will follow.

Eliana Osborn
Eliana Osborn is an associate English professor at Arizona Western College, with degrees from Brigham Young University and Northern Arizona University. She’s published widely in forums such as The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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