File photo.

File photo.

16,000 Washingtonians will receive nearly $158 million in federal student loan discharges

Attendees of Everest College campuses like the one in Renton are eligible.

On June 3, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that 16,850 Washingtonians who attended any school owned by Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit college that engaged in deceptive conduct, will receive $157.9 million in relief.

The U.S. Department of Education discharged $5.8 billion nationwide in student loans for Corinthian College students across the country. Ferguson had been calling for this action from the federal government since 2016. He asserted, and the federal government finally agreed, that every borrower who attended Corinthian was subject to illegal conduct.

This discharge applies automatically — borrowers do not need to do anything to receive relief. This relief applies to all remaining loans for Corinthian Colleges, including for borrowers who have not yet applied for a “borrower defense” discharge.

According to the Attorney General’s office, Corinthian owned and operated Everest College campuses in Everett, Fife, Tacoma, Bremerton, Renton, Seattle and Vancouver until February of 2015, when they were sold to Zenith.

“Washingtonians’ student loan crisis is now $158 million smaller,” Ferguson said. “This is justice. The thousands of Washingtonians who were harmed by Corinthian’s illegal conduct deserve this relief from crushing student loan debt. Betsy DeVos and the Trump Administration had every chance to take this action, and they refused. I applaud the Biden Administration for doing the right thing.”

Ferguson has previously called on the Department of Education to discharge federal student loans for former Corinthian students. In December of 2016, Ferguson sent a letter to department officials calling for automatic loan discharges for victims of Corinthian’s fraud. In 2017, Ferguson, along with other state attorneys general, submitted a joint request seeking group discharge for Corinthian borrowers in their states.

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