The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Corinthian College, Student Loan Scam

Jun 6, 2022

U.S. students of higher education currently are in debt for close to two TRILLION dollars; yes, a two followed by 12 zeroes.

Unlike other wealthy countries, in which college tuition is paid when students show necessary skills, U.S. education depends on parents’ wealth. For the majority, college or university means debt. Even among those who achieve a bachelors’ degree, a large number end up in jobs like Starbucks or Amazon but still have to pay back loans for years.

The Biden administration in May wiped out about six billion dollars in debt from a for-profit college called Corinthian, helping more than half a million people scammed by this college. Corinthian used a lot of hard-sell tactics to gain students, promising them they would easily find jobs, pushing students to take expensive loans. Corinthian went bankrupt in 2016. Corinthian students waited for relief, but none came. Not from the Obama administration, which had already been sued over Corinthian, nor from the Trump administration. Not even in the first two years of the Biden administration did Corinthian students get the relief they had sought. But the Department of Education continues to allow for-profit colleges, and such colleges won’t make a profit if they don’t promise more than they deliver. In 2016 another for-profit college, ITT, a technical school, also went bankrupt. And it took another lawsuit to erase debt from 750,000 students scammed by ITT.

The Department of Education, an agency paid for by the U.S. taxpayers, has farmed out the arranging of loans for colleges and universities to several for-profit agencies. One called Navient was forced to forgive more than a billion dollars in student loans because of their shady practices. But others like it are still loan servicers, another layer of difficulty making it almost impossible for loans to be forgiven. The Department of Education has policies on the books to forgive loans but has made the processing so difficult, almost no students have had their loans forgiven.

That’s why millions of young and not-so-young adults are paying back student loans, even if they never finished college or never got a job in their field of study.