Corinthian Colleges, the for-profit education company, sent notice yesterday to the public and about 16,000 students enrolled in its Heald College locations, Everest and WyoTech that classes would be canceled today… and every day going forward. The company has shut down locations in California, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona and New York — 28 schools total — with promises that they will help place students in other schools.
The news comes a couple of weeks after the Education Department said it would fine Corinthian $30 million for misrepresenting job placement data, attendance data and grades. The job placement records were used to convince students to take private loans to pay tuition, which, according to NBC News, is how the company got 85 percent of its revenue.
For example, the government found that Corinthian campuses paid temporary employment agencies to hire their graduates and send them back to the same campuses — counting them as having been successfully placed in careers. And Corinthian locations counted students who were already working before they even enrolled as having been successfully placed.
These schools were all that Corinthian had left after selling its other campuses last year to a nonprofit education company. Corinthian says that government fees to potential buyers prohibited a sale.
“We believe that we have attempted to do everything within our power to provide a quality education and an opportunity for a better future for our students,” said Corinthian CEO Jack Massimino in a statement.
For-profit colleges have come under fire for costing students thousands of dollars and ultimately failing to lead to the jobs and other money-making opportunities that they promise.
In fact, the largest for-profit education company in the world, Laureate Education, which has many of its operations abroad, is planning to go public with a $1 billion IPO. (Former President Bill Clinton was an honorary chancellor until he announced he was stepping down on Friday. He says it has nothing to do with his wife’s presidential run.)
Still, people looking for an educational boost to their resume continue to apply. However, continued news about the student debt that comes of a for-profit education has led to a drop in enrollment and regulatory problems.
Before you enroll, do your homework.