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Former Students Take A Stand Against College Debt By Refusing to Pay

GUEST: Nathan Hornes organizer with Debt Collective and is one of the Corinthian 15, Hannah Chadeayne Appel, also an organizer with Debt Collective, and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UCLA.

A few years after the Occupy Wall Street movement, a group of intrepid former students have decided to go public about the overwhelming debt their owe for their college education. A campaign called Debt Collective has announced a debt strike by a group of 15 students who are publicly refusing to pay back their federal and private college loans as an act of protest.

The students all attended institutions operated by Corinthian Colleges Inc., a nearly defunct private, for-profit higher education provider. Dozens of Corinthian Colleges have closed down, and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and others have even sued the company. Some students involved in the debt strike were in the middle of obtaining their degrees when their institutions shut down, leaving them with no degree and lots of debt.

The Department of Education apparently has the power to forgive Corinthian student debt but unwilling to wait any longer, the Corinthian 15 as they are called, are taking a public stand right now. Student debt as a whole has reached epic proportions nationally, with more than a trillion owed by former students as of now. The burden of debt has significantly impacted the ability of young people to move out of their parents homes, start their own families, and achieve financial independence.

To learn more about this story, visit debtcollective.org.