Statement by SEIU President on Corinthian College

After nearly a year of uncertainty Corinthian College announced that it is immediately shutting down operations. For the estimated 16,000 students currently enrolled in Corinthian owned schools the closure provides hope for a fresh start, as these students will be eligible for loan forgiveness. However, for the hundreds of thousands of former students who were deceived by Corinthian, the closure of Corinthian provides no relief. They will continue to be saddled with debt for which they received no value.

Today,  SEIU president Mary Kay Henry and SEIU members reiterate our demand that the Department of Education forgive the loans of all former students harmed by Corinthian. We continue to stand in solidarity with the brave Corinthian student striking their debt and echo their call for fairness for all Corinthian students.

Statement by Mary Kay Henry:

Dear Former Corinthian Students,

I am writing on behalf of the 2 million members of SEIU who are proud to stand in solidarity with you as you strike your federal student loan debt. Your courageous decision to go on a debt strike sends a powerful message that all Corinthian students deserve better.

Corinthian collapsed because they prioritized their own profit over student success, using aggressive and misleading tactics to enroll students in overpriced programs. Corinthian’s actions turned student dreams into nightmares.

We join you and a broad coalition of supporters — including Representative Maxine Waters, a group of 13 U.S. Senators led by Elizabeth Warren and Attorneys General — in calling on the Department of Education to use its statutory authority to forgive all Corinthian student debt.

The 37,000 higher education faculty members of SEIU are deeply committed to ensuring that college students get the highest quality education with the least burden of debt. 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.

In solidarity,

Mary Kay Henry

Since July 2014, when Corinthian and the Department of Education announced the corporation’s intentions to cease operations and sell its campuses, SEIU members have advocated loan forgiveness for Corinthian students as a priority for the Department of Education. To support this effort, SEIU launched in September and collected over 4,000 signatures from current and former Corinthian students demanding debt forgiveness. On December 17, 2014 SEIU members participated in a “Day of Action” and delivered the petition to ECMC, the company that bought Corinthian.

Corinthian Colleges collapsed in the face of ongoing investigations and lawsuits by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, multiple state attorneys general, and the SEC. Corinthian used aggressive and misleading tactics to enroll students in overpriced programs. Many students were not prepared to complete these programs and the programs were unlikely to provide the necessary skills to succeed in the students’ chosen fields. Corinthian prioritized profits over student success. Corinthian’s actions turned these students’ dreams into nightmares and SEIU members support loan forgiveness for all Corinthian students.

Join Mary Kay Henry, SEIU members, and the growing movement demanding debt forgiveness for Corinthian students by signing this petition.

After signing this petition please tweet and share on Facebook.

I stand with the #Corinthian100. #Debtstrikesback @FacultyForward @HEND @usedgov @0debtzone

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