How a For-Profit College Targeted the Homeless and Kids With Low Self-Esteem

Mar 20, 2016 by

Newly released emails and PowerPoints show first-hand Corinthian Colleges’ predatory practices.

by Annie Waldman –

Perhaps you remember Corinthian Colleges. It was the country’s second largest chain of for-profit colleges, before it collapsed into bankruptcy last year amid evidence of phony marketing and predatory loans.

The shenanigans brought investigations from more than 20 state attorneys general and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

But the actual emails and testimony underlying the allegations haven’t been public. Until now.

Earlier this week, California’s Attorney General quietly filed thousands of pages of documents and testimony as part of an ongoing lawsuit against Corinthian. We trudged through them and, well, just read the upshots.

Corinthian recruited homeless students and then helped them get federal loans they couldn’t pay back.

Hollie Harsh testified that she and her fiancé Brian French were homeless and living in a tent on vacant land in Northern California when they toured one of Corinthian’s campuses. They told a recruiter they were homeless and unemployed. Despite that, the recruiter enrolled both of them that day, promising strong future job prospects. They took on thousands in federal loans that, given their circumstances, would be difficult to pay back.

The day before classes started, Harsh and French moved their tent to an empty lot across the street from campus. They were kicked off the lot by a deputy sheriff two weeks later, so they moved the tent to the school’s grounds instead, with the knowledge of the campus president. Harsh’s testimony describes tough times:

Source: How a For-Profit College Targeted the Homeless and Kids With Low Self-Esteem – ProPublica

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