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In 2015, Hornes and 14 other Corinthian victims took the unheard-of step of refusing to pay their student loans

In 2015, Hornes and 14 other Corinthian victims took the unheard-of step of refusing to pay their student loans

It’s a shell game, and for those with these loans, the cup never reveals more money, only another bill

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The strike came amid a series of lawsuits filed against Corinthian by the states of California and Massachusetts, and it provided a beacon for the thousands of others who had been similarly preyed upon. In concert with these efforts, the strikers ultimately secured $480 million in debt relief.

Ami Schneider attended the Illinois Institute of Art, a for-profit art school that was recently shut down by its new owners due to accreditation issues. The school left Schneider payday loan Crosby ND over $120,000 in debt, but the apathetic climate around student debt when she graduated in 2010 left her with few prospects for finding justice. By 2015, Schneider had been in an online group for a few years with fellow students from her college who were trying to organize and fight back against the scheme. We didn’t know what to do with that energy, she told me.

Then someone in her group dropped a link to the work of the Debt Collective and the Corinthian 15. When Schneider connected with Larson and the Debt Collective to share the stories of her fellow indebted classmates, the massive scope of the issue started to come into focus for her. At that point, because I had been reaching out to my senators and everything, I’m feeling like completely alone with it, Schneider said.

She described her emotions following the discovery as a mixed bag. On the one hand, she was dismayed to realize just how widespread the issue had become, but on the other, she found comfort in knowing that I wasn’t alone. For years, she had been trying to explain to other people outside IIA that her school had been a scam, but at the time, the for-profit college model hadn’t been exposed on a national level. Schneider was quick to point out, though, that when it comes to differentiating between public colleges, private for-profits, and private nonprofits-which are often sitting atop massive dollar endowments and continually raising tuitions-she doesn’t see a distinction in the nature of the scam.

All of them are having the same financial issues with graduates, Schneider told me. Some of them more than others, but there’s the systemic failure from the current path, where we have taken education from being a public good [to] a personal liability.

Schneider is participating in the upcoming national debt strike, and in our conversation she underscored that going on strike doesn’t just mean defaulting on one’s payment-she is currently on administrative forbearance, a temporary stay on the loan payments, as her claim against IIA has yet to be reviewed. The same message is echoed by the Debt Collective’s leadership.

We are not telling people, Hey, if you’re already paying or if you can pay, stop paying,’ said Appel, who is also a professor at UCLA. What we are saying is that there are 1.1 million people every year-1.1 million new student debtors every year-who default on their loans. In other words, there are millions out here who are not paying. And those are just the ones in default.

She said it is a matter of fighting back, of appealing these loans and helping people open up more about this kind of debt to establish a sense of community

Student debt, while not taking up as much of the spotlight as climate change or health care, has been made a major political issue because of students like Schneider and Hornes, who knew that writing to their elected officials wasn’t going to move the needle.

As always, capitalism and liberalism together have attempted to offer solutions to the debt crisis that are actually just keeping the beast fedpanies hiring fresh-out-of-school workers have shifted their benefits packages, tailoring them to the crisis by offering to pay off student loans in lieu of higher salaries or better health care packages.