Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Fanta$y I$land For Students

With a fine Corinthian loan as a back$top:

"Student loan recipients go on repayment strike" by Kimberly Hefling, Associated Press  April 01, 2015

WASHINGTON — Sarah Dieffenbacher is on a debt strike. She’s refusing to make payments on the more than $100,000 in federal and private loans she says she owes for studies at a for-profit college that she now considers so worthless she doesn’t include it on her resume.

The debt strike sentiment is catching on.

That is going to make government and banks very unhappy.

Calling themselves the ‘‘Corinthian 100’’ — named for the troubled Corinthian Colleges, Inc., which operated Everest College, Heald College, and WyoTech before agreeing last summer to sell or close its 100-plus campuses — about 100 current and former students are refusing to pay back their loans, according to the Debt Collective group behind the strike.

They met Tuesday with officials from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an independent government agency that has asked the courts to grant relief to Corinthian students who collectively have taken out more than $500 million in private student loans.

The Education Department is the group’s primary target, because they want the department to discharge their loans. A senior department official is scheduled to attend the meeting.

Denise Horn, an Education Department spokeswoman, said the department has taken steps to help Corinthian students, but is urging them to make payments to avoid default. The department has income-based repayment options.

By not paying back their loans, the former Corinthian students potentially face a host of financial problems.

Pay it whether it is legitimate or not! Just pay it!

The former students argue that the department should have done a better job regulating the schools and informing students that the schools were under investigation.

‘‘I would like to see them have to answer for why they allowed these schools to continue to take federal loans out when they were under investigation for the fraudulent activity they were doing,’’ said Dieffenbacher, 37.

I think we know why.

Dieffenbacher said she received an associate’s degree in paralegal studies from Everest College in Ontario, Calif., and later went back for a bachelor’s in criminal justice before later dropping out. She said she left school with about $80,000 in federal loans and $30,000 in private loans, but when she went to apply for jobs at law firms she was told her studies didn’t count for anything.

Dieffenbacher, who works in collections for a property management company, said she was allowed at first to defer her loan payments, but now should be paying about $1,500 a month that she can’t afford.

How ironic!

Makenzie Vasquez, of Santa Cruz, Calif., said she left an eight-month program to become a medical assistant at Everest College in San Jose after six months because she could not afford the monthly fees. She said she owes about $31,000 and went into default in November because she has not started repayment.

‘‘I just turned 22 and I have this much debt and I have nothing to show for it,’’ said Vasquez, a restaurant server.

You didn't have to go to college for that!

Related: Monday Morning Chow

You know it's food Wednesday in the Globe, too.

Many of Corinthian’s troubles came to light last year after it was placed by the Education Department on heightened cash monitoring with a 21-day waiting period for federal funds. That was after the department said it failed to provide adequate paperwork and comply with requests to address concerns about the company’s practices, which included allegations of falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims and of altered grades and attendance records.

What a work of art, huh?



"Federal officials have placed nine Massachusetts colleges under heightened scrutiny because of concerns about their ability to manage student aid money, according to US government records released Tuesday. Roxbury Community College, which is working on a turnaround after a string of financial and administrative lapses, faces the higher level of alert among the schools that were called out by the US Department of Education."

It was no joke, kids.


Your problem was you didn't have a mentor:

"Mentors at nonprofit help students get degrees, jobs" by Chris Reidy, Globe Correspondent  April 08, 2015

When Aneudy Rodriguez was a Boston University freshman living on campus, he would leave as often as he could, hopping the number 1 bus back to his Roxbury neighborhood.

“It was culture shock,” he said. “Even though I’m from Boston, I didn’t feel I was home at first.”

Many students from poor neighborhoods face difficulties adjusting to college life — and many end up dropping out. But Rodriguez had the support of Bottom Line, a Boston nonprofit whose mentoring services have helped more than 1,000 low-income students graduate from college.

Just as important, Bottom Line helped many of those newly minted graduates get jobs in key sectors of the Massachusetts economy....