Earlier this week, former college student Mallory Heiny wrote a piece in The Washington Post about not paying back her student loans for the now-defunct Everest College.
In her article, Heiney says Everest lied to her about the education she would receive, and her adviser told her she could defer student loan payments until after graduation. Unfortunately for Heiny, two months into her nursing program she received loan payment notices.
To make matters worse, she says her professors only read aloud from textbooks and did not teach the material she needed to pass the nursing license exam. Thanks to YouTube and online practice tests, Heiny was able to pass the exam. Despite her success, Heiney along with 15 other students who attended Everest College have refused to pay pack the loans they acquired during their enrollment.
Everest College —which was under the Corinthians Colleges Inc. — closed after its parent company came under investigation for financial wrongdoing. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department Of Education worked together to claim $480 million for debt relief to students who were enrolled in colleges under the Corinthians Colleges umbrella. Though debt relief was earned for the students, their federal loan debt cannot be waived.
Heiny, who is upset that she must still pay back federal loans for a school that no longer exists, compared her struggle to that of Rosa Parks:
“In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus. This soon led to the revolutionary Montgomery bus boycott. If those who came before us can take a stand in the face of persecution, harassment, beatings, imprisonment and even death, I will certainly stand in the face of wage garnishment and a tarnished credit report.”
While many people understand Heiny’s frustrations, some believe she should not compare her financial struggle to the Civil Rights Movement. Corinthians Colleges could have filed Chapter 11, but since they didn’t Heiny claims she and other students must pay back the school’s debt even though their institutions no longer exist. By going to the press Heiny hopes she can show the financial aid practices used to make students poorer.
Do you think Heiny is the Rosa Parks of college students?