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The widely publicized student loan debt revolt started by a group of former students of Corinthian Colleges -- known as the Corinthian 15 -- has enlisted an additional 85 protestors.  Enter the newly entitled "Corinthian 100."

As recently reported by The Washington Post, the "'debt strike' has picked up 85 more disgruntled borrowers" from Corinthian schools who are  "willing to jeopardize their financial future to pressure the government into forgiving their student loans."

The Post says, "Corinthian, which runs Everest Institute, Wyotech and Heald College, has become the poster child for the worst practices in the for-profit education sector, including high loan defaults and dubious programs. Clouded by allegations of deceptive marketing and lying to the government about its graduation rates, Corinthian lost its access to federal funds last year, forcing the company to sell or close its schools."

"In the aftermath, current and former students of the for-profit schools have called on the Education Department to wipe away debt they say Corinthian pressured them into taking. After months of pleading with the department to forgive the federal loans, the students teamed with an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement known as the Debt Collective. Together, they came up with the idea for the strike."

"It’s a dicey move because students who default can lose their paychecks, tax refunds or even a portion of their Social Security. Not paying back debt can also ruin someone’s credit, making it difficult to buy a house or car, or to get a job."



 
 
Mallory Heiney, a former licensed practical nursing student at Everest College in Grand Rapids, has traced in a Washington Post editorial the path that took her from what she thought was a "high-quality program that I could finish quickly" to being "deeply in debt for an education that fell far below my expectations."  She explains how this journey caused her to become a member of a group of former students at Corinthian College schools that are now refusing to pay federal and private student loans as "the Corinthian 15."In her article, Ms. Heiney recounts in part:
"During the enrollment process, I explained to an Everest financial adviser that I could not afford to make loan payments while attending school. I was reassured that I would not be required to repay my loans until after I graduated. He quickly signed me up for federal and privately held loans. By graduation, I owed more than $24,000. Two months into my program, I received my first loan bill. That’s when I learned that I was expected to pay the interest on my private loan debt while in school. Soon I was selling my plasma twice a week to buy groceries and make my interest-only payments.The program also lacked the quality I had been promised by Everest’s admissions staff. Classes consisted mostly of teachers reading aloud from books. After I earned my degree, I did not have the knowledge I needed to pass the state licensing exam. I eventually passed it by spending hours researching the test questions online and watching YouTube videos."



 
 
Patricia Ann Bowers has a story to tell about $57,000 in debt owed to the federal government for student loans paid to a for-profit school from which she was unable to earn a bachelor's degree.

Ms. Bowers is one of the "Corinthian 15," a group of 15 working adults who now find themselves deep in debt to the government after disillusioning experiences with schools run by Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit education company that has folded in recent months following intense government scrutiny of their enrollment practices and placement success.  

According to Ms. Bowers, Everest College -- one of Corinthian's subsidiaries -- assured her during repeated recruitment calls that they could accommodate her physical limitations due to accidents and help realize her dream of earning a bachelor's degree in marketing.  

But when she suffered a tragic loss of a son and sought to take some time off, the school refused to give her a leave of absence, telling her that she needed to remain enrolled even if she was unable to attend classes or do well in them.  She incurred so much loan debt in the course of three years of pursuit of a bachelor's degree that she has become ineligible for any additional federal student aid now -- even though she is still short of the credits needed for a bachelor's.

Now Ms. Bowers is refusing to pay the money back -- part of an organized "debt strike" among 15 former Corinthian students aimed at convincing thousands of others to do the same in an effort to bring attention to a national epidemic of student loan debt incurred by adults who are recruited by for-profit schools to pursue programs that they are unable to complete or to leverage into jobs in their chosen field.

Ms. Bowers' story -- and those of others in the Corinthian 15 -- are featured in a lengthy article published by ThinkProgress.org.  

Another member of the Corinthian 15 is Mallory Heiny, a woman from western Michigan who attended Everest Institute in Grand Rapids, incurring nearly $30,000 in student loan debt of a license practical nurse diploma that she was unable to attain before the program shut down.  Ms Heiny told Fox 17 that she was informed that she was ineligible for a discharge of her loan because she had been in the program too long.

The Washington Post also covers the Corinthian 15, along with the Huffington Post with this item.  As does Newsweek with a story and this graphic: