The for-profit college company, Corinthian Colleges Inc., will close its remaining 28 campuses, affecting some 16,000 students in California, Arizona, New York, and Washington, the company announced Sunday.
Corinthian, which owns Heald and Everest Colleges, had been selling off most of its other 100 campuses after striking a deal with the Board of Education, but couldn’t find a buyer for its remaining campuses.
The government was seeking additional fines for those 28 remaining Corinthian campuses, which made them unattractive to potential buyers.
Last year, Corinthian lost its access to federal funds and this year was fined $30 million for falsifying student job placement rates, grades, and attendance rates.
At Corinthian’s Heald campus in Honolulu, an accounting graduate was considered “employed in the field” because they worked serving food at Taco Bell.
Corinthian made similar reports to the Board of Education, claiming students had been placed in their field when they were working retail jobs at Safeway and Macy’s.
Corinthian made 947 cases of placement misstatements U.S. Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell told the L.A. Times.
“Instead of providing clear and accurate information to help students choose which college to attend, Corinthian violated students’ and taxpayers’ trust. Their substantial misrepresentations evidence a blatant disregard not just for professional standards, but for students’ futures.”
Corinthian’s students made the news earlier this year when a group dubbed themselves “The Corinthian Fifteen” and went public with their refusal to pay back their student loans, citing their inability to get a job.
Calling themselves the first generation to be made poor by the business of education, the fifteen challenged the government to release them from their loans, saying they had been swindled by Corinthian.
Monday morning, Corinthian will be closing its 13 remaining Everest College and WyoTech campuses in California, Phoenix, Tempe, and Rochester, N.Y., along with 10 Heald College campuses in California, Hawaii, and Oregon.
Students attending closed for-profit colleges are often eligible to have their entire student loans forgiven.
The Board of Education told Bloomberg they would begin reaching out to Corinthian students to explore their options, including forgiving their loans.
Corinthian Chief Executive Jack Massimino told the Los Angeles Times the regulations imposed by the government made it impossible to sell their schools and continue educating their students.
“We had worked very hard for a better outcome that would have allowed many of you to continue working under new ownership. Unfortunately, we were unable to achieve that goal and effective today your position will be eliminated.”
[Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]