Corinthian Colleges announced Sunday that it would abruptly shut down another 28 for-profit higher education venues, depriving about 16,000 students of their courses and a chance to better education.
In an e-mail, California-based Corinthian reassured its students who had been studying at its locations in California, Oregon, Arizona, New York, and Hawaii, that they would be placed by government agencies or other state-run institutions.
“It was very shocking to be told ‘hey, tomorrow, no more school,'”
Alexandra Roske, a student at Corinthian’s Heald College, told reporters Sunday.
Ms. Roske, who is a single mom, also said that she loved school and for that reason she invested everything she had into an academic career that would have given her and her family a brighter future. Instead, she currently owes $18,000 for the dental assistant courses which she cannot finish anymore.
Jordan Castle, another Corinthian student said she learned that her medical assistance classes she was attending at Everest Institute were over from his social media friends. Jordan said that one of his classmates asked him via Facebook what was the deal with Corinthian e-mails. He replied to his friend that he had no clue what was going on since it was the first time he heard about it.
But Corinthian Colleges’ recent announcement was the result of a series of lawsuits and investigations over its business practices. A month ago, the U.S. Education Department fined the company $30 million for altering grades and misleading future students by using inflated job placement data.
The department has been conducting an investigation on Corinthian’s marketing practices since January 2014. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also started a separate investigation after it received dozens of complaints on the company’s artificial job placement reports. The bureau decided to sue Corinthian in September because its practices persuaded students to agree on expensive student loans, which accounted for up to 85 percent of the company’s revenue.
Investigators also found that Corinthian Colleges closed hidden deals with employment agencies to temporary hire their graduates in order to count them as being successfully placed for a job and artificially boost their job placement rates. Moreover, those rates included students that already had a job before they even enrolled.
Last year, Corinthian Colleges were able to sell many of its schools to non-for-profit education groups some of which allowed students to continue their studies. But about 28 schools couldn’t be sold because the government tried to penalize and impose strict conditions on potential buyers.
Jack Massimino, the CEO of Corinthian Colleges, recently stated that his company did everything it could to provide its students with “quality education” and a chance for a better tomorrow.
The Education Department announced recently that it would help students find a better college and even partially forgive their loans. A representative of the department described the current situation of the 16,000 stranded students as “unacceptable.”
Students complained that Corinthian’s move was abrupt and without a warning. Some of them were just a few months away from getting their degrees, while others even quit their jobs to fully engage as students.
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