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posted by martyb on Friday December 11 2015, @02:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the at-the-speed-of-government dept.

The Huffington Post reports

The U.S. Department of Education will cancel $27.8 million in federal student loans owed by some 1,300 former students of defunct for-profit school chain Corinthian Colleges Inc. after determining that the students were swindled into taking on the debt, according to a government report released [December 3].

The move marks the first recent use of a little-utilized provision in federal law that gives student debtors the right to petition the Education Department to discharge their debt in cases where they were defrauded into taking out loans.

The debt forgiveness plan only affects 1 percent of the roughly 125,000 student debtors who are eligible for expedited debt cancellation. That comes to about 2 percent of the students' nearly $1.3 billion in combined loan balances. The department said in June and November that those borrowers were eligible for immediate loan relief after determining that Corinthian had likely defrauded the former students by advertising false job placement rates.

[...] Borrower advocates [Debt Collective] criticized the department, led by Secretary Arne Duncan, for the paltry number of approved debt relief applications and the relatively small number of applications the department has received, compared to the number of eligible borrowers.

[...] "The department funneled billions of dollars to executives and shareholders of these fraudulent 'schools' for over a decade" [...] "It now wants to save face by creating a Rube Goldberg-type contraption to prevent as many people as possible from seeking the relief they deserve."

[...] Thursday's move comes six months after Education Undersecretary Ted Mitchell said the government would "fast track" applications submitted by students who attended certain programs at Heald College, a primarily California-based career school owned by Corinthian.

As the USA presidential race plods on, a footnote:

[More after the break.]

Bloomberg has reported

[In the summer of 2014], Senator Marco Rubio of Florida asked the U.S. Department of Education to "demonstrate leniency" toward Corinthian Colleges by permitting the wealthy for-profit company to continue accessing millions of dollars in federal financial aid while it was cooperating with a federal investigation.

Bloomberg has further reported

In the last five years, Florida Senator Marco Rubio's various political operations have accepted $27,600 in contributions from Corinthian Colleges.

The most recent donation [was from] Mark Pelesh, who was listed as a "business executive" for Corinthian Colleges. The donation came on April 30, one day after [Bloomberg's report noted above.]

Previous Corinthian Colleges stories


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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday December 11 2015, @03:03AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @03:03AM (#274782) Journal

    Senator Marco Rubio of Florida asked the U.S. Department of Education to "demonstrate leniency" toward Corinthian Colleges

    It's neither the Dept of Edu nor Marco Rubio to show leniency, it's the tax payer.

    And after the too-big-to-fail episode, I really doubt there'd be any inclination to leniency; I know I wouldn’t have any - better those money be thrown on Mars, Jupiter or Uranus (in exchange for some telling pictures) than the Corinthian Colleges.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday December 11 2015, @03:11AM

      by Thexalon (636) on Friday December 11 2015, @03:11AM (#274787)

      It's not Corinthian that is the beneficiary of this leniency - it's their victims.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Friday December 11 2015, @04:28AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @04:28AM (#274803) Journal

        It's not Corinthian that is the beneficiary of this leniency - it's their victims.

        It may be so, but that's not what TFS seems to imply. Bear with me:

        to "demonstrate leniency" toward Corinthian Colleges by permitting the wealthy for-profit company to continue accessing millions of dollars in federal financial aid while it was cooperating with a federal investigation.

        In my parsing, looks like the colleges still have a whole lot in the coffers (that "the wealthy for-profit company") and they don't what to touch them but ask for a bail-out.
        Maybe it is not so, maybe hon Rubio has indeed asked for leniency on behalf of the students; if so, TFS is loaded.
        But... is it so? Let's see the TFA:

        "It has been brought to my attention that the U.S. Department of Education has recently placed extreme financial constraints on Corinthian Colleges, Inc. by restricting the company's timely access to federal financial aid. It is my understanding the the Department of Education has requested extensive documents be provided by Corinthian Colleges for review, and Corinthian has acted in good faith to try to provide these documents as expeditiously as possible," Rubio wrote.

        Oops... not a word about students, the honourable seems to ask leniency on-towards the company.

        "While I commend the Department's desire to protect our nation's students from fraudulent and malicious activity by any institution of higher education, regardless of tax status, I believe the Department can and should demonstrate leniency as long as Corinthian Colleges, Inc. continues to expeditiously and earnestly cooperate by providing the documents requested."

        Ambiguous in regards with who should be shown leniency, but the structure of the phrase would rather point as not the students being the recepients. Because it looks like Rubio admits from the start that the students are not to blame (being duped by a "fraudulent and malicious activity", thus a no fault, no punishment necessary). The ones who should be punished are colleges and Rubio asks for leniency for them (as a reward for cooperating during the investigation).

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Friday December 11 2015, @12:32PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Friday December 11 2015, @12:32PM (#274936)

          Right, I understand that Rubio is corruptly screaming that Corinthian should be able to continue bilking the government and students.

          What's actually happening, though, is that the Dept of Education has cut off money to Corinthian and is relieving the debts of the defrauded students. Which is exactly what you'd hope would happen.

          --
          The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
  • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday December 11 2015, @03:10AM

    by jmorris (4844) on Friday December 11 2015, @03:10AM (#274785)

    Just the one named guy, Mark Pelesh, shows a crapton of political donations across both parties. Not going to bother finding lists of all of the officers and running them through opensecrets.org too. This is why we hate DC, and it is also why we hate the media because they always seem to report things in a biased way like this.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @03:16AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @03:16AM (#274788)

      Articles about donations to Rubio aren't lies of omission. They are articles about Rubio that don't mention any other republicans either. But you are so primed to be a victim that you see persecution where there is none. Stupid SJW.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by aristarchus on Friday December 11 2015, @04:16AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Friday December 11 2015, @04:16AM (#274800) Journal

        I am very sorry, but evidently you got your education at a Corinthian school: "Stupid SJW" is an oxymoron. You may not be familiar with that word, what with the degree and all those hundreds of thousands of dollars of loans for Corinthian colleges. It means "sharp fool", or "clever stupidity", and most often is represented as a contradiction in terms, e.g. (that's "exampla gratia" or Latin for "free example"!) "jumbo shrimp" or "military intelligence", or my personal favorite, "Italian driving lessons". So now you should perceive your error. Social Justice Warriors are keenly aware of social injustice, and how did they get that? Yes, education at an actual university, not some capitalist privatized sucking student loan money off of taxpayers diploma mill. So "stupid SJW" is, in fact, a contradiction in terms, and you have just so contradicted yourself! How do you plead, wise fool? (Oh, by the way, "wise fool" in Greek is "σοφόμωρός" or in English, "sophmore". Guess you never got beyond second year in the Corinthian College scam?)

            . Γνωθι μαθων, sucka!

        --
        FatPhil: "F**k me, ran out of all of today's modpoints in just 10 minutes. "
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @04:55AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @04:55AM (#274812)

          Actually, "Stupid SJW" isn't necessarily an oxymoron. Stupid is not the same as Ignorant, nor is it the same as Uneducated. You can go to a college or university and get an education. Hopefully the education will cure ignorance, but nothing cures stupidity. Have you ever met a very intelligent person who never took higher education? Have you ever met someone with a Master's Degree (an MBA perhaps) who seems to be denser than lead and refuses to listen to tech support? Example, and counterexample, of why "education at an actual university" doesn't necessarily mean they're not stupid. It's not an either/or situation.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @04:57AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @04:57AM (#274813)

            This is a tedious game, where the first one to accuse the other of being a SJW is the winner.

            Grow up, you guys.

            • (Score: 3, Funny) by aristarchus on Friday December 11 2015, @05:39AM

              by aristarchus (2645) on Friday December 11 2015, @05:39AM (#274821) Journal

              No, you grow up first! I don't want to grow up! I don't want to go to school! Just learn to be a Parrot! And recite a silly rule! Hey, do I win a prize, or if I clap do I get the Julia Roberts Tinkerbelle? I love tinkering with belles!

              And, in case you missed it due to both a lack of native intelligence and the proper education, I am a Social Justice Warrior, says so right on my T-shirt! So anyone calling me that I take as compliment. The oxymoron is that those who j'accuse! are in fact not saying what they think they are saying, which is just, . . . wait for it! . . . . inconceivable! And I attribute that to a failure of education. Here is the point: American education is messed up almost beyond saving. The end of the "No Child gets away without defamatory testing act", which I hear just happened, is a good start. But I have to say, as an ancient Greek, that Americans have no idea what education is really about! This is why they keep having scandals like Corinthian and Harvard and Stanford! Americans tend to think that education has something to do with making more money. Well obviously by this definition we can have people who are "highly educated" and at the same time complete and utter absolute morons! Did I mention Donald Trump? No? Well, case in point. Education is not just the acquisiton of knowledge that can be sold, that is prostitution, which does describe most STEM (Slutty Temptresses of Erotic Management? I can NEVER remember acronyms!) degrees offered by American institutions of higher slavery. But like I said, just because you went to an actual university that does not guarantee intelligence or a Social Justice Warrior consciousness, but it you went to a Corinthian school, or the University that is not in Phoenix, or Bob Jones University and Wacko Fundamentalist Breeding Experiment School, or Liberty or Regent, we can reasonably assume that you are sophmoric, at best. And possibly much, much worse, like Ted Cruz.

              --
              FatPhil: "F**k me, ran out of all of today's modpoints in just 10 minutes. "
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @06:07AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @06:07AM (#274828)

                step away from the keyboard...

                • (Score: 3, Funny) by aristarchus on Friday December 11 2015, @06:38AM

                  by aristarchus (2645) on Friday December 11 2015, @06:38AM (#274839) Journal

                  NO, you step away, you collaborator with the destruction of all that is good in the world! America had a chance! I have been on this planet for 2400 years, and holding Athens in its prime aside, American represented the greatest hope for humanity. And now, they throw it away for a dwindling chance at being middle class or at least safe from terrorism? And you say I should step away? Cretin. Poltroon. Debilitant! Kakos! OK, thanks for letting me know.

                  --
                  FatPhil: "F**k me, ran out of all of today's modpoints in just 10 minutes. "
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:12AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @05:12AM (#274816)

          Are you seriously defending jmorris as being wise?

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by aristarchus on Friday December 11 2015, @05:47AM

            by aristarchus (2645) on Friday December 11 2015, @05:47AM (#274822) Journal

            Well, sophmoric, yes. You got a problem with that? Anti-social Gamer-gate sociopath misogynist libertarians need love, too. He is our jmorris. There are many like him, but he is ours.

            --
            FatPhil: "F**k me, ran out of all of today's modpoints in just 10 minutes. "
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @03:10AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11 2015, @03:10AM (#274786)

    This is actually a bailout for the people responsible for corinthian college. They knew full well that they were providing a substandard product but they didn't give a damn because the loans passed 100% of the risk to the students and the government. The college still got paid no matter what.

    We bailed out the banks and none of them went to prison, these for-profit colleges are exactly the same people who we bailed out last time - investment bankers privatizing profits and socializing losses. Put those fuckers in prison or they will just infect some other industry to suck all the good out of.

  • (Score: 2) by Gravis on Friday December 11 2015, @10:25AM

    by Gravis (4596) on Friday December 11 2015, @10:25AM (#274911)

    forgiving the "debt" of people you swindled is like having the mafia break one of your knees and then say they forgive you so they wont break your other knee. i have a better solution. how about we refund everyone's money even if we have to pull every last penny out of the scum that make up these horseshit institutions?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by PizzaRollPlinkett on Friday December 11 2015, @08:27PM

    by PizzaRollPlinkett (4512) on Friday December 11 2015, @08:27PM (#275134)

    There's an old saying about privatizing the profits and socializing the risks - is this its poster child? Does the poster have a big facepalm?

    --
    (E-mail me if you want a pizza roll!)