You Are Not A Loan: Student Debt Strikers Fight Back

Have you heard about the Corinthian 100? Comprised of current and former students who attended the now-notorious Corinthian Colleges, the Corinthian 100 has organized a major student loan debt strike. Working with the Debt Collective, they are refusing to pay back their loans and demanding the cancellation of all student loan debt held by people who attended Corinthian.

Image from the Debt Collective targeting Everest, a subsidiary of Corinthian Colleges.

Image from the Debt Collective, targeting Everest, a subsidiary of Corinthian Colleges

The good news is that last month Corinthian, the largest chain of for-profit colleges in the country, closed its doors for good, bowing to mounting legal pressure and fines by the Obama administration for lying about job placement and graduation rates, among other fraudulent practices. The bad news is that hundreds of thousands of students are left with massive debt and worthless credits and degrees.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education, whose federal loans comprised at least 85% of Corinthian’s profits, is seeking to minimize its liability rather than help these defrauded students.

LaTonya Suggs, a Debt Collective organizer and former Corinthian student summed it up best:

Since I graduated three years ago, I have been living a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. My degree is worthless. The quality of my education was low; no one accepts my credits, and employers don’t think my diploma has any value. I’m $30,000 in debt, and I wasted all those months that I can never get back.

Unfortunately, LaTonya’s experience is far from unique. As we’ve seen time and again through our work in New York City, for-profit schools like Corinthian offer little or no educational and professional value, while further entrenching low-income communities and communities of color in cycles of debt and sapping federal grants that could provide people with real educational opportunities down the road.

We stand with the Corinthian 100 and all who work to expose and end the exploitative system of for-profit and debt-funded higher education.