Working to Protect Students and Borrowers as Corinthian Colleges Ceases Operation

Corinthian Colleges, Inc., today announced the effective end of all operations. Given the wide public interest in this matter, and our Departments involvement in it, I wanted to provide some background and explain what has happened, as I have done in the past.

Corinthian’s closure follows a series of enforcement actions by this Department and by states aimed at protecting students and safeguarding the interests of taxpayers. The Department took action in June 2014, when Corinthian failed to respond to the Departments repeated requests for answers about questionable practices, including concerns that Corinthian was using false and misleading job placement data to market its schools and recruit students, and that it might be changing student grade and attendance data to hide performance problems. To mitigate further damage, the Department intensified oversight of Corinthian, ultimately leading to an agreement that put Corinthian on the road to closure. As first step in that process, Corinthian sold 56 Everest and WyoTech brand campuses in November 2014.

As Corinthian was attempting to manage its closure plans, the Department’s enforcement actions against the school continued.  On April 14, the Department announced the results of one portion of its investigation – findings regarding Corinthian’s Heald campuses as it related to placement rate reporting.  Corinthian’s misrepresentations regarding placement rates were serious, and the Department initiated a fine action of approximately $30 million against the school.

At the time the Department first took action on Corinthian, approximately 72,000 students were enrolled; today, about 15,000 remain at 30 campuses under the control of Corinthian in five states. The closure decision was made by the company, following Corinthian’s failure to find a buyer for the remaining campuses willing to abide by conditions put in place by the Department to protect students, borrowers and taxpayers.

These actions are part of a larger effort by the Department of Education to take strong steps to protect the interest of students and taxpayers. The Obama Administration has led unprecedented efforts to protect consumers from predatory career colleges. It has established new gainful employment regulations to hold career training programs accountable and ensure that students are not saddled with debt they cannot repay. These regulations ensure that programs improve their outcomes for students or risk losing access to federal student aid. Last year, the Department announced a new federal interagency task force to help ensure proper oversight of for-profit institutions.

Taking strong actions on Corinthian has been an important part of that effort. Given today’s announcement by Corinthian, our first and most pressing concern is for the students who were enrolled. 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. Students at schools that have closed may be eligible for closed-school loan discharges; students who were enrolled at Corinthian in the last 120 days will receive information about their options from the Department and from loan servicers.

We will do everything we can to ensure that Corinthian makes good on its obligations to students and taxpayers to the extent possible. In addition, we encourage Corinthian students to pursue debt relief with their state, especially as many states have tuition recovery funds. In all of this work, we ask states to prioritize students and their educational best interests.

As Secretary Duncan has said, we will continue to hold the career college industry accountable and demand reform for the good of students and taxpayers. We hope Congress will join us in that effort.

Students seeking better life options should be assured that their investments will pay off in increased knowledge, skills, and opportunity. As Corinthian closes its doors for good, the Department will continue to keep students at the heart of every decision we make and will communicate with Corinthian students about all their options going forward. What these students have experienced is unacceptable and we look forward to working with Congress in an effort to improve accountability and transparency in the career college industry. A college education remains the best investment a student can make in his or her future, and this Administration will continue to work to make a college degree affordable for all students, to hold colleges accountable, and to safeguard the interests of taxpayers.

 Ted Mitchell is the Under Secretary of Education


  1. I was a student at Brymann College between 2004-2005 and it changed to Everest College just after I graduated. The teaching was sketchy as when we were taking exams the teachers would often leave the room and people would just discuss the answers. The hands on training was sloppy and pushed too fast. We had an instructor just flat out leave in the middle of class one day and she never came back. She later told some of us that she was tired of being associated with a school that pads the grade book and charges an outrages amount for an education that was done with so little effort.
    My externship was a joke. I pretty much just followed another MA around all day and was not able to put my learned skills into practice.
    I tried making appointments for job placement and for some reason the counselor was always out.
    I graduated with honors and tried to get my MA certification from the state and the test was beyond my scope of learning. I was then stuck with over $12,000 in debt. I was a single mom and worked my tail off to get that debt down to $2000. I tried to get copies of my records from Everest and they told me that some of their computer programs would not bring up the records. I later found out that some of the instructors didn’t even grade the work. The collected it and it went into recycling.
    These schools prey on single parents and they convince you how easy it is to find a job. It was BS! Shut them all down and keep them shut down.

  2. I am a 2001 Graduate of Heald College, Roseville, CA. I decided to go back to school to earn my bachelor’s degree. I am having a very difficult time contacting Corinthian College so I can order my transcripts from 2001. It seems that since Heald is accredited it falls under WASC so I am not sure the records are going to be transferred to the CA Post-Secondary Bureau of Education (the website states that they will not be the stewards). I have spent hours researching and trying to track down the transcripts. All “avenues” point back to Corinthian. Does anyone know how I can actually get in contact with someone from Corinthian? Long shot I know…. Or does a bankrupt college have the right to withhold transcripts? If so, is there a timeframe for release?

  3. Stupid me. I just graduated from Heald on January 2015. The school told me to “wait 6 months for diploma to be sent to you”. What do I do? Where do I get my medical billing and coding certificate or diploma from them to prove I graduated? And that huge loan, do we get help with that?

  4. 5/16/15
    I sent this letter to The California Department of Justice when they contacted me and asked to send them information regarding my attendance at Everest (Corinthian Colleges). I would like to find out if I have been relieved of this debt.

    Date: 8/20/14

    To: The California Department of Justice

    From: Sim F. Sutterby, II

    RE: Information/Law Suit against Corinthian Colleges, Inc.

    Dear Sirs:

    I graduated Everest University in 2008. I owe the school over $50,000 for a degree that is useless. I cannot transfer credits to a State College in Florida. And I am not working in my field of study. I did not waive placement assistance and I was never offered any type of internship. In fact, the only employment assistance that was offered was Career Builder which is a free employment assistance website and I already had an account with Career Builder before I started at Everest University. As soon as Everest had my phone number so did 1,000’s of telemarketers and collection agencies. I did attempt to transfer my credits to Florida State University but they would not accept it.

    I would like this resolved so that I can attend a reputable school where the degree actually has some impact on potential employers and be reimbursed for my grants and all of the loans that are outstanding, be reversed back to Department of Education.

    I did not receive this letter until 08/19/14 requesting me to respond within 15 days.

  5. I was a student at Everest College in Salt lake city Utah January 2013 and graduated October 2013. I had called for information in regard to their nursing program. They told me I had to meet in person to get the best information. When I went in they told me I didn’t qualify for their program but would if I took one of their other programs. They called every day several times a day to get me to join their school. They promised top education and employment help after graduation. I received no help and graduation was small. My family had to stand because there wasn’t enough seats. I can now barely afford to pay my loans and scrape by paycheck to paycheck. Is there anything I can do? Can my loans be forgiven?

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