Waters, Scott Support Department of Education’s Actions to Provide Relief to 1,312 Corinthian Students
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Waters, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, and Congressman Bobby Scott, Ranking Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, support the release of the Department of Education’s Second Report of the Special Master for Borrower Defense that announced the authorization of full relief of student loan debt for 1,312 Corinthian College students. The decision will amount to almost $28 million in debt relief that will go directly to harmed Corinthian students.
The Department also announced that it has processed and authorized over 5,814 closed school discharge claims, amounting to an additional $75,461,790 in loan relief.
Additionally, Ranking Members Waters and Scott were pleased to hear that the Department of Treasury has concluded that the debt relief received by Corinthian students will not be considered taxable income, relieving these students from what would have been thousands of dollars in unfair taxes.
The Department’s announcement and report follow a continuous advocacy effort by Ranking Members Waters and Scott and, several of their colleagues in both the House and the Senate, to extend full restitution for all harmed Corinthian students in light of the U.S. Department of Education’s major fraud findings against Corinthian Colleges, Inc.
In addition to several letters and meetings with the Department of Education, students, and advocates, Ranking Member Waters has also introduced three pieces of legislation directly aimed at curbing the abuses of Corinthian and similar for profit institutions: the Class Act, the Students Before Profits Act and the Ensuring Quality Education for Veterans Act. She was also the first Member of Congress to endorse the Corinthian 100, a group of students who initiated a debt strike in response to the Department of Education’s Corinthian’s fraudulent practices and subsequent closure and bankruptcy.
In September, Ranking Member Scott, joined by Waters and Hahn, introduced the Pell Restoration Act which will restore Pell Grant eligibility for Corinthian students and any other student who attended an institution of higher education that closed due to certain violations.
“I am very pleased that we can now say that there are some Corinthian students, including approximately 1,000 students from the state of California, that have finally received monetary debt relief,” said Rep. Maxine Waters. “The evidence has been clear that Corinthian defrauded its students and now we are finally beginning to make some of them whole. While the Special Master’s report today represents a good first step, it is important to keep in mind that much more work must be done. Just last month, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice concluded that Corinthian’s Wyotech and Everest Colleges, both schools that are primarily located in California, misrepresented their placement rates to enrolled and prospective students. The Department of Education must now extend the same expedited relief authorized today to these students who attended Wyotech and Everest College as well. The work will not end until as many Corinthian students as possible receive the relief they deserve. ”
“For too long, some educational institutions have engaged in activities that leave students financially and academically vulnerable,” said Rep. Bobby Scott. “Today’s announcement to forgive the loans of more than 1,000 students is good news. While the time that students invested in their studies can never be replaced, this action by the Department gives students some much-needed relief. This decision will bring help to these students and their families, but there is much more to be done for the many other students who have not had their debt forgiven.”