Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and 11 other state Attorneys General have sent a letter to United States Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan in an effort to share their opinions concerning what the Department told students after Corinthian Colleges had announced its closure.
Students of the institution had been told by the Department that they had the option to transfer to another for-credit college, which includes colleges currently under investigation by federal and state agencies.
“These students have already been through a stressful time with the closure of a school, and the last thing they need is to end up at institutions that are more interested in getting their hands on student loan dollars than they are in educating students,” said Kentucky AG Jack Conway in a statement. “When something bad happens – the students are left holding the bag with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, no degree and credits that won’t transfer.”
When the college announced the closure of its last 28 campuses last month, the frequently asked questions page was updated on the Department of Education website to advise students that they could continue their current program at another school. It would be up to that school to look at a student’s finished body of work and determine which courses each student would need to complete their course of study, reports Allison Martin for SurfKY News.
The Department went on to offer students a list of possible transfer options. However, a number of schools on that list are also on the Department of Education’s Heightened Cash Monitoring list and are currently under investigation for similar unfair practices that caused the closure of Corinthian Colleges.
“By steering unknowing Corinthian students toward these for-profit schools, the Department of Education is setting the students up for the distinct possibility that they will incur substantial additional loans only to be the victims of illegal lending, recruiting, or other practices and faced with yet another college closure,” the letter states.
The group would like to see the schools under investigation be removed from the Department’s list of transfer options. In addition, they are asking Duncan not to offer any more guidance to students that would lead them to transfer to any of those schools, writes Ashlee Kieler for The Consumerist.
The letter went on to ask for additional guidance for Corinthian students in the form of a warning that if they do choose to transfer to another school, they could no longer apply for a closed school discharge of their student loans.
The group is asking that discharge applications be mailed to current students of the closed campuses who may still be eligible for loan forgiveness.
Meanwhile, the students of the former Corinthian Colleges, who could have billions of dollars in claims against the company, are being represented in the company’s bankruptcy case by an official committee. The goal of the case for students is to negotiate a recovery, including a possible deal that would reduce student debt, writes Stephanie Gleason for The Wall Street Journal.