The U.S. Department of Education will forgive $157.9 million in student loans to residents of Washington state as part of a nationwide effort to address a case of higher education fraud, the office announced Friday. of Attorney General Bob Feguson.
In a press release from Ferguson’s office, the attorney general wrote that the loans would be canceled for any student who borrowed on a Washington Corinthian College campus. Corinthian owned and operated private, for-profit higher education systems, including Everest College Tacoma, a former downtown two-year school. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2015.
“It’s justice,” Ferguson wrote in the statement. “The thousands of Washingtonians who have been harmed by Corinthian’s unlawful conduct deserve this relief from the student debt crush.”
Ferguson’s statement locates the nearly $6 billion loan forgiveness from Corinthian College announced Thursday by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. In a speech, Harris said college students “found themselves taken advantage of by a scam that took their money and gave them nothing in return but heartache.”
According to Ferguson’s announcement, the Tacoma campus was one of seven operating Everest College campuses in Washington. In 2015, all seven campuses were sold to a company called Zenith Education Group. Around this time, the Tacoma campus was renamed Alterius Career College. The school closed permanently in 2017.