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Corinthian College Students To Receive Relief from California Assembly

If you or your kids were affected by the closure of the Corinthian College system, a for-profit college system that had a number of California locations, then there is help available. It’s not necessarily all the best news, but the California Assembly has stepped in to provide remarkable assistance to students that were injured by this group by introducing legislation to provide relief for Corinthian College students facing serious educational and financial setbacks due to the college system shutting down earlier this week.

A protest image from teh Corinthian College Debt COllective

A protest image from teh Corinthian College Debt Collective

Authored by Assemblymember Jose Medina and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, the legislation will ensure students have access to educational opportunity, economic relief and legal aid.

“Corinthian Colleges’ abrupt shutdown has left thousands of students stranded and in debt,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “The legislation we are advancing will ensure that students harmed by the closure of Corinthian and other high-risk, for-profit colleges will not be held responsible for the sharp practices and bad decisions of others.

Assembly Republicans stand with California’s hardworking students who are striving to pursue their education dreams,” said Assemblymember Olsen (R-Modesto). “In addition to providing relief to these students, this legislation ensures that funds recovered from the legal action against Corinthian Colleges directly funds the student relief activities in this bill.”

What the Bill Will Do

The Assembly legislation will:

  • Waive community college fees for all California students harmed by the Corinthian closure. The bill also provides funding for community college counselors to assist students in transferring to and enrolling in programs.
  • Provide legal assistance to help students, including specialized legal assistance for veteran students, with the loan forgiveness process since only an estimated six percent of students eligible for a loan discharge claim it. This bill would provide a grant of $100 per student to legal aid services for students seeking loan discharge.
  • Provide tuition recovery to Heald and California online students, including veteran students, through expanding California Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) eligibility to all students attending a high-risk, for-profit institution. WyoTech and Everest students are already eligible.
  • Restore the year(s) of Cal Grant eligibility for Heald students.
  • Increase the statutory limit on STRF from $25 million to $50 million in order to ensure the STRF has sufficient funds to support all students when large, for-profit institutions close abruptly. Institutions would be required to begin paying into this fund immediately.
  • Establish a Closed Schools Task Force within the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to ensure that students are provided with accurate and consistent information from the agencies involved in the school closure process.

Existing Program Deficiencies

Existing programs are insufficient to support all California students harmed by the Corinthian Colleges closure and evidence has come to light that students are being providing inaccurate and inconsistent information regarding their rights and their options. Federal loan forgiveness is available to students who qualify, but only if they do not transfer any educational credits to another institution.  Download the Corinthian College Students – Fact Sheet now.

Claims Against Corinthian Colleges

On April 26, 2015, Corinthian Colleges, Inc. announced that they had ceased operations at all Heald, Everest, and WyoTech campuses following oversight and enforcement actions by the California Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the California Student Aid Commission, the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education, the California Department of Veterans Affairs, and several other state attorneys general.

In a Department of Justice filing, claims against Corinthian Colleges include misrepresenting job placement rates to students and investors, advertising for programs it does not offer, unlawfully using military seals in advertising, and inserting unlawful clauses into enrollment agreements to bar any and all claims by students.

This legislation will be an urgency measure and requires a two-thirds vote. This is a bipartisan effort to provide aid to students harmed by Corinthian’s closure.

Coauthors of the legislation include: Assemblymembers Luis Alejo, Toni Atkins, Susan Bonilla, Cheryl Brown, Ian Calderon, Ed Chau, David Chiu, Kansen Chu, Ken Cooley, Matthew Dababneh, Susan Eggman, Jim Frazier, Beth Gaines, Mike Gipson, Young Kim, Patrick O’Donnell, Kristin Olsen, Jim Patterson, Bill Quirk, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, Freddie Rodriguez, Miguel Santiago, and Tony Thurmond.

 


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