STAR TRIBUNE: Rep. John Kline says he is in favor of loan forgiveness for Corinthian students

Career College Central Summary:

  • Amid mounting national pressure on the Obama administration to forgive billions of dollars of federal loans owed by former students of the now defunct Corinthian Colleges, the most powerful man on the education committee in the U.S. House, Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., has remained remarkably quiet until now.
  • Some federal lawmakers, state attorneys general and student advocates say that those who attended Corinthian Colleges should not have to repay loans after allegations by the Department of Education and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that the company lied to students about job prospects and relied on unseemly recruitment practices. The collapse of Corinthian, which ceased U.S. operations in April, was among the biggest meltdowns nationally in the lucrative for-profit college industry.
  • Kline said in a statement that he supports loan forgiveness for former Corinthian students.
  • In Minnesota, state officials last year barred Corinthian from enrolling any new students in its Eagan-based Everest Institute. Corinthian’s student population had already dwindled to 300 by that time in Minnesota, with students attending both Everest and some out-of-state online schools operated by Corinthian. The company sold off dozens of its properties, including Everest, which was in Kline’s district.
  • “A lot of lives have been severely disrupted by this unfortunate situation and I support discharging the loans for those eligible students who were in the process of earning a degree,” Kline said in a statement released after declining interview requests. “The department is continuing to review this and will determine any additional steps that may be taken. As I have stressed from the beginning, all parties should continue to keep in mind the best interest of students.”
  • Kline’s political opponents are hoping to make an issue of the growing controversy over the way some for-profit colleges operate. Angie Craig, who is running for DFL endorsement in Kline’s Second Congressional District, said she thinks for-profit colleges are taking advantage of students.
  • “These students … they are looking for a better life,” Craig said. “And for the life of me, I don’t understand why he [Kline] continues to support the for-profit college industry. He’s supposed to be a national leader in education and in my opinion, he’s failed Minnesota.”

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