The U.S. Department of Education announced last week that thousands of additional former students of Corinthian Colleges are eligible to have federal student debt forgiven due to evidence of fraud by the former for-profit school chain.

The government said that "students who were defrauded at 91 former Corinthian Colleges . . . nationwide have a clear path to loan forgiveness under evidence uncovered by the Department while working with multiple state attorneys general."

As a result of the government initiative, students who attended Everest and WyoTech schools in 20 states, including Michigan, can apply for debt relief by completing a form.  The other states covered by the initiative are Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington, Virginia, Ohio, West Virginia, Minnesota, Nevada, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oregon, New York, Utah, Maryland, New Jersey, and Wyoming. 

To date, as part of prior initiatives by the government aimed at providing debt relief to other student victims of Corinthian's fraudulent and predatory operations, more than 8,800 students have been granted debt relief totaling more than $130 million, the government said.

Corinthian Colleges suddenly closed its doors on dozens of its campuses across the nation in April 2015 in the wake of multiple government investigations regarding misrepresentations made to students during enrollment and regarding placement.
A California state court judge has hit now-defunct Corinthian Colleges with a $1.1 billion judgment for deceptive trade practices that played a significant role in the unraveling of the for-profit education giant nearly a year ago.

The final default judgment entered by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow found that Corinthian had "knowingly misled students with phony job numbers and advertisements for programs that didn't exist, illegally used official military seals in its promotions and engaged in unlawful debt collection practices, among other violations," according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.

The suit against Corinthian was brought by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, one of a number of state and federal regulatory actions brought on behalf of current and former students of for-profit giant Corinthian, which aggressively and deceptively marketed education programs under brands that included Heald, Wyotech and Everest.

In April 2015, under intense regulatory pressure, Corinthian suddenly closed, filing bankruptcy a month later.

In a news release, the California attorney general hailed the $1.1 billion judgment, saying, "This judgment sends a clear message: there is a cost to this kind of predatory conduct."