SEIU on the DOE Plan for Corinthian College Students

SEIU applauds Corinthian Colleges student debt forgiveness, calls for more efficient process

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) applauded the measured steps announced by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) yesterday to forgive the federal loans of tens of thousands of people who studied at the now-bankrupt Corinthian Colleges. The union noted, though, that the process laid out by DOE is complicated and burdensome for individual students.

“The 2 million members of SEIU, including 37,000 higher education faculty, are deeply committed to ensuring that college students receive a high-quality education at a cost they can afford,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “For many students who have been victims of predatory for-profit colleges, this offers hope of a fresh start. However, DOE, in partnership with appropriate state regulators and attorneys general, should establish a process that recognizes entire cohorts of students as victims of fraud. This is the most efficient and fair approach for both tax-payers and students.”

Since July 2014, when Corinthian and the Department of Education announced the corporation’s intentions to cease operations, SEIU members have urged that loan forgiveness for Corinthian be the top priority for the Department of Education. SEIU launched last September and collected more than 4,000 signatures from current and former Corinthian students demanding student loan forgiveness. On December 17, 2014, SEIU members participated in a ‘day of action’ and delivered the petition to ECMC, the company that bought Corinthian.

“We will continue to link arms with Corinthian students—and other students who were sold a bill of goods by for-profit colleges—to demand debt forgiveness and restore hope to the next generation of students seeking the opportunity to follow their dreams,” Henry said.

SEIU urged DOE to continue investigating Corinthian’s past practices, as well as the practices of other institutions that have profited from abuse of the federal student aid program.