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Opinion
Michelle Leder

US Taxpayers Got Little From a College's Canceled Debt

It’s a mystery as to why the government hasn’t gone after the former executives and directors of defunct Corinthian Colleges for more money. It should, if for no other reason than to set an example.

Did the government let Corinthian Colleges off too easily? 

Did the government let Corinthian Colleges off too easily? 

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In terms of a return on investment, it’s hard to imagine a worse outcome than the deal that American taxpayers got from Corinthian Colleges Inc., the for-profit college that closed and filed for bankruptcy in 2015. 

Last week, the government agreed to erase $5.8 billion in debt owed by more than 500,000 former students who had borrowed money to attend classes at Corinthian’s campuses. The hefty number represents all remaining debt racked up by students dating back to 1995, when the company was founded. That’s on top of another $171 million in debt relief for Corinthian students announced in 2016.