By Nathalie Voit

The White House said it would cancel all outstanding federal student debt for borrowers who attended schools owned or operated by Corinthian Colleges.

In a press release published on June 1, the U.S. Department of Education said it would approve $5.8 billion in full loan discharges for 560,000 former Corinthian College students.

“As of today, every student deceived, defrauded, and driven into debt by Corinthian Colleges can rest assured that the Biden-Harris administration has their back and will discharge their federal student loans,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in the release.

The department concluded the private college chain defrauded thousands of students from its founding in 1995 to its closure in April 2015. According to the release, Corinthian routinely made false and misleading claims related to a borrower’s employment prospects, including guarantees they would find a job after graduation.

The for-profit college behemoth also made pervasive misstatements to prospective students about their ability to transfer credits. Corinthian also falsified its public job placement rates, the department said.

Then-Attorney General of California Kamala Harris’s 2015 lawsuit against Corinthian played a major role in exposing Corinthian’s history of false and deceptive advertising. The department said Harris’s findings were key in its decision to sign off on the full loan forgiveness.  

Wednesday’s action is the single largest piece of debt forgiveness by the government. Since taking office in January 2021, President Biden has approved $25 billion in total loan relief for 1.3 million borrowers.

At its peak in 2010, Corinthian enrolled more than 110,000 students at 105 campuses.