Corinthian Colleges Inc. was dissolved in April, leaving approximately 16,000 students from Everest College-Alhambra and other schools stranded with no degree. The U.S. Department of Education announced on June 8 that those former students are eligible for full debt relief.
Students of any school that closes within 120 days of their last attendance may seek government assistance with their loans, but government officials say that Corinthian, who also owned Heald College and WyoTech College, was a special circumstance. To address the unique situation, officials have expanded the 120-day window to nearly a year. Students who had attended a Corinthian-owned college on June 20, 2014 or after may seek full reimbursement for their student loans. The department will also consider any case in which a former student believes fraud was at play. Aside from offering debt relief, the department also provides a chance to transfer course credits to a similar education program. Former students seeking assitance are directed to visit the department's website.
Corinthian has been besieged with allegations of fraud before they'd closed down in April. In an interview with Consumerist, an employee said that that Corinthian was the "biggest scam company in the world."
"While some for-profit career colleges play a critical role in helping students succeed in their educational and training pursuits, too often, bad actors in the sector have preyed on some of our nation's most vulnerable students," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a press release.
As an example of the kind of fraud that was perpetrated, the department says that Heald Colleges published false post-graduation job rates to boost its appeal.
An estimated 80 percent of students at for profit schools take on federal loans to finance their college.