Following enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Education and individual states, Corinthian Colleges, Inc. has closed its remaining 28 campuses.
The company says in an announcement on its website that it is working with other schools to provide continuing educational opportunities for about 16,000 students affected by the closings. The closings come several months after Corinthian, under growing scrutiny from federal investigators, sold 56 Everest and WyoTech campuses in November 2014.
The remaining campuses that were closed today were Corinthian’s 13 remaining Everest and WyoTech campuses in California, Everest College Phoenix and Everest Online Tempe in Arizona, the Everest Institute in New York, and Heald College–including its 10 locations in California, one in Hawaii and one in Oregon.
Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell says in a blog post that the department took action against Corinthian last year after the company failed to respond to inquiries about questionable practices. Corinthian had been accused of using false and misleading job placement data to market its schools and recruit students and of changing student grade and attendance data to hide performance problems.
Since the federal education officials stepped up its oversight, Corinthian says it has been moving toward the orderly sale or wind-down of all of its schools. The company says it has tried to sell Heald College and to arrange for Everest College and WyoTech students in California to continue their education, but says it could not complete a deal because of "federal and state regulators seeking to impose financial penalties and conditions on buyers and teach-out partners."
”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,“ says Jack Massimino, Chief Executive Officer of Corinthian. ”Unfortunately the current regulatory environment would not allow us to complete a transaction with several interested parties that would have allowed for a seamless transition for our students.“
Earlier this month, the Department of Education levied a $30 million fine against Corinthian's Heald College campuses for serious misrepresentations regarding job placement rates for students.
Federal officials say they will devote resources to helping displaced students continue their education.
"Our first and most pressing concern is for the students who were enrolled," says Mitchell. "We will contact Corinthian students about their options, and will post additional information on our website. In addition, the department will send staff from our Federal Student Aid team to as many campuses as possible to talk directly with students. We are working with state community college systems to ensure that students have options to continue their education."