Project: Student Aid Policy

Date: October 8, 2015
Related Staff: Angela Perry


October 8, 2015

Contact: Isabel Alegria, , (415) 431-7434, (510) 541-5428 or Angela Perry at (415) 431-7435


Governor Brown Vetoes Debt Relief Bill, Denying Aid to Thousands of Students Harmed in
For-Profit College Closure

San Francisco – Governor Jerry Brown vetoed legislation today that would have provided assistance to thousands of students left with debilitating debt and no degrees by the abrupt closure earlier this year of Corinthian Colleges, Inc.

Tiffany Johnson was a student at Corinthian Colleges who was left with a debt of $36,800 in student aid from her enrollment in the now-defunct college.

“I’m devastated by the Governor’s unwillingness to support me and the other students harmed by Corinthian Colleges,” said Johnson.  “We won’t give up and will continue to search for relief.”

Advocates for the students were deeply disappointed by the veto.

“Students all over the state have been facing nearly unsurmountable challenges as they try to manage their debt and find their way to other educational institutions,” said Angela Perry, Law Fellow at Public Advocates. “Legal aid organizations in California have attempted to assist as many students as possible, but they have been overwhelmed by the present need. Without the benefits of AB 573, they will be left to fend for themselves,” said Perry, “It’s very disappointing the Governor decided not to step up and help these students.”

Corinthian Colleges had 13,000 students enrolled at their Heald, WyoTech, and Everest campuses in California when they closed their doors unexpectedly on April 26, 2015. Students learned of the illegal closure in an email on a Sunday night, announcing that there would be no class on Monday, the day of the closure, or any day after that. The students were instructed to report to their Heald, WyoTech, and Everest campuses to pick up their records, and were given little information to cope with the situation they were left in. Students who had already graduated received no notice, and many were unaware that there was an opportunity to retrieve their transcripts and documents.

AB 573 (Medina, McCarty) received bi-partisan support in the legislature. Both the California Attorney General and the Federal Department of Education have put together resources to help students get access to help locally. Students are also advised to reach out to their local legal aid office for more information.

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Public Advocates Inc. is a non-profit law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination by strengthening community voices in public policy and achieving tangible legal victories advancing education, housing and transit equity. For more information, see

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