JACKSON—Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, along with the Attorneys General of at least 43 other states and the District of Columbia, recently announced that thousands of Mississippi students are eligible for federal student loan cancellation.
Eligible students must have attended and used those loans at schools operated by the for-profit Corinthian Colleges, Inc.—including Everest Institute, Everest College, Everest University, Heald College, and Wyotech. When a student’s federal loan is cancelled, the student will no longer make payments on the loan, and any payments already made will be refunded.
“This is a victory for students who were scammed in their efforts to further their education,” said General Hood. “I hope these refunds are a relief for these thousands of former students who were taken advantage of by a for-profit college.”
Nearly 6,000 Mississippians are eligible for federal student loan cancellation and will receive a letter explaining the relief available. Recipients should then file the enclosed application with the U.S. Department of Education.
After intense scrutiny by various government entities, for-profit Corinthian Colleges abruptly ceased operations in 2015, transferring some of its campuses to a non-profit called Zenith Education Group. The U.S. Department of Education then found that while it was operating, Corinthian Colleges made widespread misrepresentations between 2010 and 2014 about post-graduation employment rates at its campuses across the nation. Lists of the affected campuses, programs, and dates of enrollment are available at https://www.StudentAid.gov/ev-wy-findingsand https://www.StudentAid.gov/heald-findings. Students who first enrolled in the identified campuses and programs during the specified time periods are eligible for streamlined discharge of their federal student loans.
The Attorney General’s outreach will be sent to students who fall within the U.S. Department of Education’s findings of fraud discussed above and are eligible for a special “streamlined” process to discharge their federal student loans. However, any student who attended Corinthian Colleges and believes that the school was untruthful about job prospects, the transferability of credits, or other issues may apply to have their federal student loans canceled using the Department of Education’s universal discharge application at https://borrowerdischarge.ed.gov. More information is available at https://studentaid.ed.gov/borrower-defense.
“All borrowers should beware of student loan scams,” said Hood. “You can apply for loan forgiveness, or get information on loan forgiveness, for free through the U.S. Department of Education, which never charges application or maintenance fees. If you’re asked to pay, walk away.”
It may take time for the U.S. Dept. of Education to process applications, so anyone who applies for loan discharge should continue making payments on the affected loans until informed by the U.S. Dept. of Education or the loan servicer that the federal loans are in forbearance or have been cancelled.
More information about the office’s outreach to former Corinthian Colleges students can be obtained by contacting the U.S. Department of Education hotline at 1-855-279-6207. Questions about discharge of federal student loans may also be sent by e-mail to FSAOperations@ed.gov.