Fraudulent students among latest recipients of student loan relief

Years after Vice President Kamala Harris, in her role as California Attorney General, successfully sued Corinthian Colleges on behalf of defrauded students, the Biden administration canceled student loan debt for those who attended its institutions. for-profit apexes including Everest University and Heald College. .

In early June, Biden administration officials made the announcement, noting that a total of $6 billion had been canceled in his last decision. Over the past few months, as voters continue to demand debt cancellation at all levels, the Biden administration has canceled a total of $25 million in debt for specific groups of borrowers.

Rohini Kosoglu, the vice president’s domestic policy adviser, said the administration’s recent overtures have benefited students of color.

“The Corinthian colleges engaged in predatory practices, mainly [against] single mothers and fathers, veterans and people at or below the poverty line,” Kosoglu said.

“Internal documents showed that they were looking for people in isolation,” she added. “It shows the deception and the result of what the students get [like] promises of getting a good job. Often colleges have gone after people of color.

Data from the Student Loan Debt Crisis Center found that two in three Americans and more than 500 civil rights, labor, consumer rights and education groups support student debt cancellation. These organizations recently called on President Joe Biden (D) to take action to ensure student loan debt is forgiven for all borrowers.

In addition to those who were defrauded by their college, recipients of the Biden administration’s student loan debt relief executive orders include borrowers eligible for the Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Program and people with disabilities. The Biden administration has also moved to upgrade the federal income-tested reimbursement program.

The White House’s latest student loan debt relief plan writes off $10,000 in debt, an amount advocates say is a pittance. Meanwhile, House Republicans will soon introduce a bill blocking Biden’s efforts. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn., 4th District) said student debt relief shifts the burden and discourages students and graduates from working hard.

However, some borrowers, like Jerome Biggins, disagree.

Biggins, a Navy veteran and former Heald College student, was among those to benefit from the Biden administration’s latest loan forgiveness initiative. In the early 2000s, Biggins enrolled at Heald on the understanding that he would receive a job upon graduation and that his GI benefits would cover tuition.

While in college, admissions officers took out loans in Biggins’ name. By the time he graduated with an associate’s degree in information technology, he had racked up $50,000 in student loan debt, which he struggled to repay during a period of unemployment and underemployment.

He said his situation worsened to the point of facing wage garnishment and forbearance on his loans.

After Heald College closed in 2015, Biggins contacted Veterans Education for Success, an organization that helped him get debt relief as a misled borrower from a college. Although he credits Heald with equipping him with the skills to advance in his field, Biggins said the school has failed to address gaps in his career development, such as networking, preparing a CV and interviewing for a job.

For Biggins, this and his overall efforts to advance educationally in the decades following his high school graduation influenced his view of the notion of going to college.

“There are hungry recruiters selling young people on [the idea of] college and not tell them they’ll have to pay off their student loans,” said Biggins, 46, of Waco, Texas.

“They need to emphasize other routes. As an African American man, I grew up when other options were not presented to improve our situation. I would like people not to take advantage of young people.

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