In response to the Department of Education's announcement on June 8th, 2015 regarding Corinthian student debt, the Debt Collective issued the following statement:
How many times do Corinthian students have to be lied to?
Just as Corinthian Colleges portrayed its programs as a path to a better life when they were in fact debt traps, the Department of Education is portraying a process that re-victimizes students as a solution to a problem they created.
If Education Secretary Arne Duncan was truly “committed to making sure students receive every penny of relief they are entitled to under law” he would sign the “Order for Discharge of Federal Student Loan Debts” the Debt Collective sent him last week, immediately and automatically discharging Corinthian students' debts. Students are entitled to receive full relief under law. The legal and most painless possible process for students is no process—they deserve an automatic discharge of their debts.
The Department of Education has been misusing taxpayer dollars for decades, funding up to 90% of Corinthian and other exploitative for-profit college chains. Hundreds of thousands of students were led into a debt trap funded by tax dollars. Automatic, class-wide discharges are not only just, they would also serve as a corrective for the Department's flagrant failures to allocate public funds wisely. An automatic, class-wide discharge for defrauded Corinthian students would not cost taxpayers, as it would be offset by government profits on the student loan program.
In place of this obvious option, the Department of Education's "solution" is a bureaucratically tortured process designed to provide relief only to those who hear about it and can figure out how to navigate unnecessary red tape.
In response to government inaction in the face of systemic corruption, 1,233 people from across the county who attended a variety of schools (for-profit, public, and private non-profit institutions) have pledged to stand in solidarity with Corinthian students and strike their own student loans should Department of Education continue to fail to meet its moral and legal responsibilities.