J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Corinthian Colleges is closing its remaining 28 campuses and ceasing operations effective April 27, 2015. If you are a Corinthian student affected by the closure, you are eligible for full discharge of your federal student loans, according to Student Loan Borrower Assistance (SLBA) a project of the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC).

Also, students who withdrew 120 days before their campus or online program closed will also be entitled to federal loan discharges. The Department of Education may extend this period based on “extenuating circumstances.” Students may show extenuating circumstances by showing that the quality of the education deteriorated before they withdrew.

The SLBA stated that Corinthian has targeted low-income students through predatory and illegal recruiting practices for many years. Despite evidence of this, the Department of Education allowed Corinthian to enroll new students who took out federal student loans until just a few days ago. And as a result, "thousands of students throughout the country were deceived into taking on enormous student debt for a worthless education, through no fault of their own." Our tax dollars at work!

Generally, you may be eligible for a "closed school discharge" or cancellation of your federal student loans if either:

  • Your school closes while you're enrolled, and you do not complete your program because of the closure. If you were on an approved leave of absence, you are considered to have been enrolled at the school, or
  • Your school closes within 120 days after you withdraw.

There are certain other reasons why federal student loans may be forgiven. For more information, go to Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education, or SLBA.

What do you think about the Department of Education continuing to allow Corinthian Colleges to enroll students under these circumstances? Have you had a similar experience with a school deceiving you? Or closing when you were attending it? Please give us your comments or questions below.

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