Corinthian Colleges is one of the nation’s largest for-profit education companies. They’re responsible for Everest University Online, which filed for bankruptcy this week. The Department of Education suspended Everest’s access to federal student aid after opening investigations into possible recruiting fraud.
Corinthian owns Everest, Heald and WyoTech colleges. The company has enrolled more than 100,000 students nationwide and has eight campuses across Texas. Some students also enroll in classes online. Now thousands of former students are asking the government to forgive their loans and some have even gone on strike — refusing to pay back their loans.
Brittany Prock is a former student at one of the Corinthian campuses. She spoke with the Texas Standard from Merit, Texas, about her decision to go on strike.
“The recruiter that I was speaking with had promised me all this glorious education – once I got done, there would be job placements, Prock says. “They had companies that they could set me up with, get my interviews with. Their graduates were highly sought after.”
Prock says that many of the courses she had to take she already took herself, but didn’t want to quit so late in the program. So how much did it all cost?
“By the time I was done and I went through and looked at all the loans they had taken out for me, I am in debt $83,542,” Prock says.
When it comes to why she’s going on strike, it’s a lot to do with the financial situation her attendance at Everest University Online has put her in.
“I know what the consequences are. They can’t take anything from me that I don’t have,” she says. “I’m not employed, I don’t own a home, I don’t own a car, they’ve ruined my credit – these are things that I can’t purchase because of my credit. What more can they take from me?”
Some say its the student’s responsibility to research and vet colleges they want to attend in order to avoid problems like this. Prock says that is not the case here.
“I really don’t feel that I shoulder any of the responsibility. The promise was made by them,” she says. “The promise that they had jobs lined up, and that people were waiting to get their graduates…they were just telling us that to get to our federal dollars.”