Home > Uncategorized > Student Debt Strikers Take On Corinthian College

Student Debt Strikers Take On Corinthian College

February 25, 2015

Fifteen students have refused to pay back their student debt to Everest College, owned by the now disgraced for-profit company Corinthian College. They call themselves “the Corinthian 15”.

Good for them. Corinthian College is a predatory and fraudulent company which was in the business of gaming the federal loan system while making false promises to its students. Those students are victims of fraud and should not be the ones paying back the government money for an education they never got. Instead, Corinthian should pay back the money.

There are articles about this in the New Yorker, Newsweek, and the Guardian, and there’s a letter of support signed by Naomi Klein and Barbara Ehrenreich, among others, which contains the following:

By declaring a strike, the Corinthian 15 are taking debt relief for themselves and challenging the Department of Education to look out for students instead of protecting rich and powerful creditors. By declaring a strike, they are taking a stand for all student debtors, by reminding us that for-profits schools are just an extreme version of our increasingly untenable system of debt-financed higher education. By declaring a strike, the Corinthian 15 are asking why the U.S. lags so far behind other industrialized societies in denying its citizenry the right to free college enrollment.


At the same time, there’s a new Rolling Jubilee initiative that just freed $13 million dollars worth of student debt, which was covered by Democracy Now. Right on.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. JIm Bender
    February 25, 2015 at 11:47 am

    I don’t know anything about Corinthian College. What I do know is that I take a dim view of “progressives” going after “for profit” educational institutions when the biggest rip-offs are the big state universities where administrators are living high on the hog, along with a select group of professors, and financing semi-pro sports teams. They turn out students with $100,000 of debt with a useless degree.


    • February 25, 2015 at 11:50 am

      I think you should go ahead and educate yourself. I agree that administrators are paid too much. But the biggest ripoff is actually Corinthian.


  2. Trendisnotdestiny
    February 26, 2015 at 9:33 am

    It is irritating to read how adults minimize predation with poorly researched opinions using a false comparison model. Jim Bender’s beef with big state universities and administrators has a time and a place — Ginsburg’s book on the administrative glut is appropriate.

    But to pollute this conversation in an effort to create a list of the worst offenders in his opinion only serves the status quo and creates an air of there is too much to do. When in fact, we see 15 students doing something that is imaginative, worthwhile, active, and a shot to the meme that profits are more important than people.

    We are talking about for-profit education for a reason. Let’s stay on point.


    • JIm Bender
      February 26, 2015 at 9:49 am

      I see the attack on for profit education as being political in nature, not necessarily based on the facts. I am sure that there are abusive for profit educational establishments, and perhaps Corinthian is one of them. I am the product of large state universities (MIchigan, Purdue), as well as Old Dominion and The George Washington University. With the pressure for degrees, there is a market for alternatives to the large schools. THe anti-for profit movement seems more like a left-wing, elitist operation, not necessarily about facts.


      • February 26, 2015 at 9:51 am

        You might want to read the California AG report on Corinthian. Or the recent CFPB complaint about ITT. Or the GAO report about for-profits.

        On Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 9:49 AM, mathbabe wrote:



      • Trendisnotdestiny
        February 26, 2015 at 10:21 am

        Having received degrees from Indiana and Michigan State University, my experience has taught me to avoid assuming a monolithic experience for state schools for the many who attend. And this space is not the best place to have this discussion Jim, unless you want to do some actual work on the subject and submit it for publication to CHE or other venues. It is a canard, in light of this discussion.

        Second, as Cathy so clearly points out, you may need to do a bit more work to fully understand the for-profit market. The gap you fill in —- political in nature is just not met by the facts. Here is a primer for you, if you are curious as to where you err http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/collegeinc/

        Lastly, this “anti for-profit movement” (a horrible phrase, btw, invoking Frank Luntz verbal assault on the meaning here) did not originate in vacuum. It is a response to 40 years of Neoliberalism, privatization and fraud which have facilitated a culture of profits over people .

        And to characterize opposition or resistance as “left-wing or elitist” is either an ignorance or an eloquent distraction from the issue at hand.


  3. February 26, 2015 at 10:51 am

    This needs to expand beyond borrowers from just the worst predators. We need to recognize, en masse, that the entire student loan system is a rigged exploitation mechanism. And we need to default en-masse. Starve the predators. Some great discussion at reddit.com/r/studentloandefaulters


    • Trendisnotdestiny
      February 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Could not agree with you more! $1.2 Trillion in student loan debt during a period of high unemployment, worker wage suppression, healthcare inflation and the most expensive tuition rates (largely due to decreased state funding for education) in our nation’s history.

      Scandalous…. Great post DK


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