Earlier this week, the U.S. Education Department announced that it would forgive 5.8 billion dollars of federal student loans owed by 560,000 borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges prior to its collapse into bankruptcy in 2015. Corinthian Colleges operated under its Everest and WyoTech Brands in more than twenty states.   Corinthian Colleges had been found guilty in various legal actions of misrepresenting their job placement rates, illegally using U.S. military seals in advertisements and promoting degree programs that the schools didn’t even offer.

Corinthian Colleges was one of the largest for-profit college chains prior to its bankruptcy filing.  For-profit universities have been a target of state and federal investigations for years.  I have written about this topic a number of times since 2012.  It should be noted that not all for-profit colleges are scams, but there are a large number of for-profit colleges, sometimes referred to as “diploma mills” that at times offer credit for your “life experience” and lure students in with promises of a helpful degree, but the students end up with a worthless degree and an empty wallet.    Sometimes the names of these scamming colleges and universities are confusingly similar to legitimate colleges.  For instance, Columbia State University is a diploma mill while Columbia University is an eminent Ivy League school.


It is very important to note that if you have an outstanding federal loan used to attend Corinthian Colleges you do not have to do anything in order to have your debt forgiven.  Anyone who contacts you to assist you in an application process to receive the debt forgiveness is a scammer looking to either steal your identity or charge you money for a worthless service.  The Education Department is eliminating any remaining balance on federal student loans for anyone who attended Corinthian Colleges either online or at one of their campuses without any action being required by the students.   In addition, any Corinthian Colleges students who made payments on their federal student loans will get full refunds for their past payments.

If you are considering attending a for profit school, first check it out with the United States Department of Education’s website at www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation to make sure it is an accredited institution.

You also should investigate whether a local college, university or community college would be more cost effective for you.  For profit colleges and universities are often more expensive than these other alternatives without offering any distinct advantages.  Also, check out the graduation rates of any for profit college you are considering and finally, investigate the job prospects in your field of study.  Don’t just take the word of the college.

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