The U.S. Department of Education will forgive $157.9 million worth of Washington state residents’ student loans as part of a national effort to address a case of higher education fraud, Attorney General Bob Feguson’s office announced Friday.
In a news release from Ferguson’s office, the attorney general wrote that loans would be forgiven for any student who borrowed from a Washington Corinthian College campus. Corinthian owned and operated private, for-profit higher education school systems, including Everest College Tacoma, a former two-year school in downtown. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2015.
“This is justice,” Ferguson wrote in the release. “The thousands of Washingtonians who were harmed by Corinthian’s illegal conduct deserve this relief from crushing student loan debt.”
Ferguson’s statement localizes the nearly $6 billion of Corinthian College loan forgiveness announced by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday. In a speech, Harris said the colleges’ students “found themselves taken advantage of by a scam that took their money and gave them nothing in return except heartache.”
According to Ferguson’s announcement, the Tacoma campus was one of seven Everest College campuses that operated in Washington. In 2015, all seven campuses were sold to a company called Zenith Education Group. At that time, Tacoma’s campus was renamed Alterius Career College. The school permanently shut down in 2017.
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