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Biden administration forgives $5.8 billion in student loans for Corinthian Colleges borrowers

Now-defunct Everest College in West Valley City was among 105 campuses nationally that were under the Corinthian Colleges Inc. umbrella.

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Participants attend a career workshop that included hands on activities for different fields.

Participants attend a career workshop that included hands on activities for different fields at Everest College in West Valley City on May 19, 2012. In what the U.S. Department of Education is calling the “largest single loan discharge” in its history, former students of Corinthian Colleges Inc. have been forgiven $5.8 billion in student loans.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

In what the U.S. Department of Education is calling the “largest single loan discharge” in its history, former students of Corinthian Colleges Inc. have been forgiven $5.8 billion in student loans.

At one point, Corinthian had included 105 campuses that enrolled more than 110,000 students, among them Everest College in West Valley City. It was a private, proprietary college.

In 2010, three former students sued Everest College in Utah’s 3rd District Court, alleging the school committed fraud by misleading them about their ability to transfer credits to other schools and about the cost of their programs. According to court documents, the students had each accumulated about $30,000 in student loan debt.

The lawsuit was later moved to federal court but dismissed in 2012, according to court records, with each party ordered to bear their own attorneys’ fees and costs.

Corinthian campuses in other states operated under the names WyoTech and Heald College.

Vice President Kamala Harris, while the attorney general of California, opened an investigation into Corinthian’s operations. According to the Education Department, the probe played a key role in developing findings against the for-profit college chain and “the overall work to discharge the loans of borrowers who were harmed by its wrongdoing.”

“As of today, every student deceived, defrauded, and driven into debt by Corinthian Colleges can rest assured that the Biden-Harris administration has their back and will discharge their federal student loans,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in a press release.

“For far too long, Corinthian engaged in the wholesale financial exploitation of students, misleading them into taking on more and more debt to pay for promises they would never keep. While our actions today will relieve Corinthian Colleges’ victims of their burdens, the Department of Education is actively ramping up oversight to better protect today’s students from tactics and make sure that for-profit institutions — and the corporations that own them — never again get away with such abuse.”

Corinthian Colleges Inc. operated from 1995 until April 2015.

Borrowers who need information whether they qualify for loan forgiveness should call the Department of Education’s toll free Borrower Defense Hotline at 1-855-279-6207 or visit studentaid.gov/borrower-defense.