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

57 Comments

  1. I graduated in 2008 from Everest in West L.A.. I complained to anyone that pretended to listen, that no help was given to find a job. I was so stressed out with no direction. Contacted several attorney’s that were interested in my situation but they all wanted money up front. Which i didn’t have. Years later I filed a report with the D.O.E.. They sent me a letter stating they were investigating and if more info was needed they would contact me. I see it all hit the fan but yet I’m still paying student loans for lies. It’s awful how Everest preys on the less fortunate and got away with it for so many years.

    • I went to Everest College in Virginia and promised job placement close to graduation. I was sent to a shopping mall to get a retail job even though my degree is in massage therapy. My mom got stuck with a parent plus loan and my degree isn’t work the ink printed on it. We, the students, are the victims and the school got off with the cash!

  2. I attended Corinthians college for criminal investigations. I now have to pay back debt, and leave with only debt, no degree. I do not know where I can turn, or where I need to go. I am at a loss. I contacted an attorney and he said to hold tight, and not try to transfer any credits. I am a sitting duck at this point.

  3. I was a student from 2002 to 2004. I graduated in September 2004 with AAS in Information Technology. In January 2005, Heald took out another loan in my name. The creditors came after and garnished my wages for that amount. I tried to fight it and when I asked Heald for the original promissory note that I supposedly signed all they could generate was a photocopy. Whiteout is not detected by photo copiers and anyone can change a date. I was forced to pay that amount and nobody ever challenged Heald. I still owe 26000 on my student loans and have not made a payment since this happened. Nor do I plan to either why should I they botched up my credit so bad because I was unable to pay these loans because no career placement assistance was ever offered I had to go out and find my own work. Oh and I am not making million dollars over my lifetime they told me a college education would earn me I am struggling month to month just to get by as I was before I started my college education. This has really dampened my entire outlook on any other institution and has me stalemated on where I can go with my career. I know many people feel the same way I do and it’s really sad.

  4. I have contacted the State Attorney General regarding this School, my $ 50,000.00 loan. They promised certifications and a 95% placement. There was no one there to place us in any jobs. There were no certifications after graduation. The graduation was lame for the amount we had to pay. James Ryan of Consumer Fraud stated that I contact you regarding this for loan forgiveness. Please advise how I proceed.

    Thank you !

  5. What about those of us who went to a Corinthian College on a PRIVATE Student Loan????

    I went to WyoTech (06-07) on a Private Loan, and WyoTech screwed up the loan financing by not certifying the loan in time (they had the paperwork 3 month in advance! I have documentation for this!) I had to re-finance the loan for a MUCH higher interest rate because I had already completed his first 2 months at WyoTech and was therefore responsible for the whole tuition amount. When I found out about the loan-forgiveness program for WyoTech students, I was advised by one of the Federal Student Loan customer service reps to file a complaint with CFPB (since mine was a private loan). I filed the complaint with CFPB (included all relevant documentation) and this is the response I received: ….(quote) “We reviewed your complaint and couldn’t send it to the company for a response. This could be because WE HAVEN’T REGISTERED THE COMPANY or because your complaint DID NOT INVOLVE A FEDERAL CONSUMER FINANCIAL LAW WITHIN OUR AUTHORITY “(end quote)….
    What gives???? They “haven’t registered the company” (which is WyoTech whom THEY are suing)??? And they’re saying that there is NO “Federal Consumer Financial Law” that protects consumers again unfair practices??? The school had the loan papers 3 MONTH IN ADVANCE, and I followed up repeatedly regarding the loan being certified by the school. They ALWAYS assured me that everything was “okay”!!! Then – 2 MONTH AFTER I started classes – I got notified that the bank had closed the loan application because WyoTech NEVER certified the loan, and after being FORCED to re-finance it, the payback will be over $30-thousand MORE because of the higher interest rate!!! And there is NO LAW AGAINST this kind of fraud?????

  6. I was enrolled at heals in the 2008-2009 school year and graduated in 2010 with my a.a.s in criminal justice. After graduation career services sent me numerous minimum wage job offers and I declined each one since I was already working a minimum wage job. I went to heals to get a career on just another job which I also told them. Their response was that since I denied their help that they had given me that they could no longer help me. I wasn’t denying their help but was denying their minimum wage job offers. I am now in debt and now have a useless degree from a college with a bad reputation. Do I get help with my loans too? If so where do I go for help?

  7. I left heald in 2013 because i was not done with my program and was at 35,000 from loans. when they first started the lawsuit i met with the lawyers will I be eligible to get my loans dismissed. I herd for some students you would need to forfeit your credit to get the loans forgiven is that true?. I have gone back to school and I have retaken the same class i took at heald because the credits do not transfer.

  8. Hello I was a student at Everest in Culver City Ca in 2009 graduated in 2010. I found some helpful information by calling the Department Of Ed the Rep informed me that i did not qualify for any type of forgiveness because i’ve already graduated so i still have to pay of my 12k loan. i also found out that my Diploma is still Accredited due to the fact that i graduated before the time of the closure. My personal opinion is that i feel that its unfair to us students who weren’t so lucky to find a job and are stuck in debut due to the fraudulent statements that Everest Reps were feeding students. I also think they should at least one loan if not all i mean what about our hardships and everyday struggles and how does that look when we go apply for jobs and we have to take these diplomas of a school that doesn’t even exist anymore that looks real great on our resumes.

  9. I attended Heald College in Concord, California for the past year, only two quarters away from graduating. I’m very upset about the complete randomness of it all, especially since I was doing homework when I read the e-mail informing everyone. I went to the campus today to receive transcripts, and it was beyond disorganized and complete chaos. Most people weren’t able to even make it inside the building. There was only two people from the Department of Education to talk to hundreds of very upset, worried, and confused students. I was told I would be able to order my transcripts online somehow in order to avoid actually going to the school and it would be smarter to do so, but I have no idea how. I’m left with several more questions on top of it. like what schools will what credits transfer to? Can I transfer my grants to another school? Why would I not be eligible for loan forgiveness? Why weren’t we told sooner?

  10. So how do I get information about Corinthin College because I graduated from Wyotech west Sacramento, Ca in August 2012 and they promised they could place me with work as of today I have not had any communication with them in regards to job placement. I also have “Genesis” loan as well. My question? would I be eligible for loan forgiveness for being victimized due to Corinthian Colleges predatory lending practices?

  11. How long should former students expect to wait to hear something? I was never able to finish because they kept messing with my financial aid saying it was not complete on my part when it was them. I was forced to pay them out of pocket and just recently finished that. Now I am able to finish my degree finally.

  12. What happens to us students that were taking their classes online. I was attending Everest College Phoenix online. I was locked out of my class on Sunday April 26. Do we qualify for the closed school discharge.

  13. So how do I get information about Corinthin College because I graduated from there in April 2013 and they promised they could place me with work as of today I have not had any communication with them in regards to job placement.

  14. What about the students who graduated from Heald in the last year. Will there be relief for their loans.

  15. I was a teacher for 8 years at Everest College in the City of Industry. I helped to change the lives for the better for my students. So go ahead and give yourself a great big pat on the butt. No not a pat on the back, but the butt. Granted Corinthian Colleges did some wrong things and you have made them pay for it big time. But, consider the real losers in this mess, the “STUDENTS”. I went to the college on Monday, April 27th to pick up my final check. Funny/Sad, I didn’t see anyone from the Dept. of Education there to offer answers to the students. No one to help them pick a college that you would help them go to with a loan. No you weren’t there. All I saw was extra security, the LA County Sheriff, the LA Times and all the major news TV stations. Numerous students and out of work teachers. Fine, shut down the big bad Corinthian College. They had it coming. But for Pete’s sake have a plan to put into action for the sake of the students. On behalf of our students, shame on you for not being there for them. You know what? This is typical of the way BIG government works. Get the big guys and sooner or later we will help the students and it’s usually later, much later. Another job poorly done.
    Submitted by,
    Steve Balloch

  16. I was a student online at Everest of Phoenix. I don’t know where to begin to get this straightened out. If anyone can help please let me know.

  17. I just graduated from Heald College-Roseville, CA. in February 2015. I have experienced first hand what “Career Services” didn’t do for me. I am still unemployed, my student loan is payable July/August 2015. I don’t know if my credits are transferable, But in the middle 2014, I recall signing a paper to have my credits worth 4.0 instead of 3.0, so that these credits can be transferable. What happens to my credits if they are not transferable? Does that mean my AS degree is worthless. I have been told by other students that I would have to re do classes I have already taken. If my credits are worthless then can my loan be worthless too?

  18. A lot of these students do not know how to obtain their transcripts (from Heald schools) for their UEH. Will there be any guidance on how to move forward?

  19. I am a 62 year old woman. After raising children and working at a dead end job, I finally made a move, I enrolled at Heald. The one thing that hooked me was “get in” “get out” and get ahead” I truly loved going to school and worked so very hard, doing countless hours of homework at home and in the school library. I had to take the January quarter off for health issues, but went to the school a week before the April quarter to do all the necessary paperwork to come back. No one said anything about anything just a normal day. So I am waiting to get my schedule, I had to call and then was told I couldn’t come back but I would be the first to know. I am heartbroken and want to cry. I can’t begin to tell you how I feel. The student loans are one thing but how about all of those hours and hours to get homework done, and it doesn’t mean anything???

  20. I graduated from Everest College in LasVegas, Nevada with a degree as a Medical Administrative Assistant in January so does this mean I will not have a graduation? I know they were trying to sell the school so what does this mean for me and what am I supposed to do now?
    If you could write me back as soon as possible I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Susan J. Schunke

  21. I need help I just graduated from Everest on Nov. 2014. I need to know if I still need to make the payment? I don’t think I should if this school is not a credited school? please some one get In contact with me and let me know.
    thank you
    sandy

  22. I know 3 Everest nursing students that gave up income and now are weighted down in debt. Their units aren’t transferable, even if they wanted to go another 60k in debt. So where is all the money? Corinthian received the students money upfront. If the Atlanta teachers were prosecuted under a RICO statue, shouldn’t the Justice department do the same with this group.

  23. I was enrolled from July 2011 to Jan. 2013. I had to drop out due to hardship, I had no money, needed a job right away and had to put loans a hold, fell behind on their “Genesis” loan as well. My question? would I be eligible for loan forgiveness for being victimized due to Corinthian Colleges predatory lending practices?

  24. So there is no support for Alumni who recently graduated?? It seems like there is help available for current students, but what is being done for the Alumni who have already completed their programs and now have a useless degree and are now left with nothing, except for enormous debt from Heald. Also, Heald offered lifetime job placement assistance, which I am sure was included in the price of tuition. So now we don’t get any help at all?

  25. What about all the students who went to Everest a few years ago but are still stuck with thousands of dollars in federal loans that we shouldn’t be stuck with?? If we would have been given the correct loans we wouldn’t be so deep in debt today!! What are we to do??

  26. As a longtime instructor at Corinthian, I can assure you that ED attempts to contact students about their options is paramount. The majority of these students do not understand debt and are not consumers of current events because many of them cannot read beyond the level of a sixth grader. Many students are unclear about their school closures, and many of them depend on stipends for monthly costs like their phones and internet access. I write with genuine concern for these students and hope that you will give your continued attention to student outcomes following the CCi debacle.

  27. I m a recent graduate of Everest college through their Business Management program November 2015 (this would be my bachelors)
    I fear that with the closure of Everest college and the harsh media allegations of their predatory and deceptive marketing (which led to the closure) has tarnished the reputation of the School let alone completely nullified the value of my degree.
    Do I have recourse over this matter? I can only imagine an interview situation where they review my diplomas from a college with a completely tarnished reputation and brand
    I can also be reached @ (626) 392.1911
    Your prompt attention to this inquiry would be greatly appreciated.

  28. What about the teachers? My son has been teaching in a Heald College in Portland, Oregon for many years. How are they being helped? Are they being helped to find positions elsewhere? Thank you for the assistance you are giving to the students. sb

  29. I attended school at one of Corinthian’s campuses in Florida in 2005-2007 and at that time I had contacted the DOE as well as the school because they were charging my student loans for “room and board” but they were not providing that to me nor did they ever provide me with those funds. I am still paying on those student loans now is there any relief for students like me?

  30. Hello,

    How will this affect past Heald College students in terms of the student loans that were taken out? Any information would be helpful.

    Thanks

  31. Does this apply to previous students? Attended Everest in 2011 and still could not be placed in my field of Medical Assistant.

  32. Add name to and need complaint form to be add name to law suit against Corinthian/Everestt College which did me wrong and never help me with anything and my mental illness at the time.

  33. What efforts is the Dept of Ed taking on all the petitions for discharge from current and former Corinthian students who were victimized by their unfair practices, left with a worthless degree, and a mountain of federal student loan debt?

    I have sent multiple letters and petitions and have gotten no response at all.

    • Found out who owns your loan know and request a student loan discharge application, based on fraudulence; or LAF, helps with various lawsuits.

  34. I understand the need for accountability in the industry, but being a father of 2, working 2 jobs with a wife that works 2 jobs, and being only halfway through my degree at Heald for a better career, this is a crushing blow. I sincerely hope that you all are just as committed to helping the students affected as you have been in the pursuit of accountability on behalf of the industry.

  35. Yes i am Heald College Graduate, they have promised to find a job for me and still i don’t have a job as Medical Assistant and which is useless. And i am in 30 thousands plus in debts. I hope some will look into it. Thank you.

  36. I am glad to hear that they finally caught them.me and my husband went to one of their school in Florida, after graduation we couldn’t find a job or neither transfert any of the credit to not even a technical school will accept us.now we stuck with a loans close to $80.000 I want help to make them responsible for what I been through.

  37. What does this mean for those who have graduated but are un able to find work in our field but still owe for loans. I have a cert I cant even use because of the reputation of the school. I was lied to and tricked into going here making me think I would have on going assistance which I never got.

  38. Attended everest college in Arizona in 2009. Is there any recourse that as former students we have any recourse since some including myself still are paying back loans

  39. We were 2 months from graduation and thousands of dollars invested in our daughters education. I think they should of been required or allowed to teach out especially for kids in my daughters position. I am not sure if we are not able to recover our tuition costs ($30,000+) cash not loans if we can do it again. We do have some loans as well. I understand you wanting to protect students but wow, we got hit hard. There is a meeting at the school on Wednesday. I have many questions.
    Thank you,
    406-459-7424

  40. I believe wholeheartedly that “Everest” which used to go by a different name when I attended in 2001, was doing this type of thing back then. I made complaints about a particular class I was taking and they offered me a free course because of it, so that just tells me that they were crooked then! I wish I could get my money back for that ridiculous school!

  41. You approved the sale of Heald College to Corinthian. That was the first mistake made. A 150 year old school that did not want to be for-profit. What about the 1000+ faculty members who worked hard and provided strong curricula that achieved WASC Sr, accreditation? The Corinthian 100 was heard by the department, what about the Corinthian 1000 who did their jobs properly and now have to face extreme financial hardship? Many of us have student loans that we re-pay. I guess we aren’t on anyone’s list of priorities, are we?

  42. I am a current student at Everest College in city of Industry and would like to know more information about what is going on I am currently half way done with extern and very concerned

  43. So, here is my question. I obtained my Associate’s in Criminal Justice in June of 2006 through Florida Metropolitan University just before they changed their name to Everest University (though had always been a Corinthian College); I had then continued on in my studies over the next couple years. Does this mean that the degree I obtained, is basically worth the paper it is printed on? I had never gotten employment in my field of study, and even now having been doing job search for the last year have not found any employment – yes I have even applied at fast food. I guess I’m wanting to know if there is any merit for the degree I earned as when I place on my job applications that I have it that these prospective employers aren’t looking at where my degree is from and figuring it’s worth about as much as if it came out of a Cracker Jack box.

  44. How will it affect those of us who have quit or transferred to other college’s and have these loans. Do we get any help.

    Thank you.

  45. I understand that students who finished their coursework or program study will not be eligible for a federal loan discharge, but students who withdraw within 120 days before the school closure will be eligible. I just finished my coursework this April 8, 2015. I am working full-time, and was a full-time student, and a full-time mother of 3. I did my best to finished my school despite of my disinterest with online classes (my classes was not offered on-ground) and almost in the verge on withdrawing my classes one week before finals. Now, i felt that it is unfair for me and for some students who worked hard to finish our courses despite of being demoralized because of our school facing these issues. I think,recent grads should also be eligible for a loan discharge as our dilemmas and frustrations are just as same as those who were enrolled and those who withdraw within 120 days before the closure. Our case should at least be taken into considerations ss we are also victims here.

  46. Hello,
    I am (or was) a student at Everest College Online and would like to know more information as to the status of my degree? I would like to know what my next step should be? I am only 2 semesters away from obtaining my degree and I am hoping that I will not loose out on the last year and a half. I am extremely angry as to the closing of my school; more so because it did so after I was charged tuition for this semester and two without prior notice.
    Please, someone help me!!!! I need this degree to better my life for my family and don’t now where else to turn.

    Thank you,
    Sharon Berry

  47. My daughter is…Was a student at Everest College in Ontario, CA. She had 2 months to go before she graduated.

    A receipt of a full refund of her tuition is the obvious “privilege” that the USDE is offering. If the ED truly believes that this is an adequate resolution to the situation bestowed upon my daughter and all other students attending a school of closure as a result of the ED’s commitment to serve “justice” against Corinthian’s falsified claims and marketing tactics regarding job placement/wages statistics; then allow me to inform the ED that they are grossly mistaken.

    What is the ED’s plan to accommodate my daughters’ lost time? My daughter is a single mom to my perfect granddaughter, who works 25-38+ hours per week (can’t get 40 or they’ll have to pay her medical benefits………..) and since October ’14 has attended school from 6-10pm every single Monday thru Friday (excluding holidays) in an effort to provide the best possible life for her daughter and self. She has persevered through exhaustion; through the pain of missing her daughter; and the temptation to just be young. She would have been amongst those graduating top of her class. She’s worked So Hard…..For what?

    Meanwhile, I’m widowed, have minor children as well, and am being garnished by the ED for the one year she attended at an unrelated school and unrelated trade, since my daughter realized her error with her career choice, and asked my blessing to discontinue attendance and begin education elsewhere. There’s no forgiveness clause or partial allowance offered by the ED for early realization of wrong life-long career choices..

    We were just talking about graduation day. We were so excited….

    How is it possible that the ED would allow schools under investigation to continue enrolling students, and especially continue to allow this once placed for sale? The ED allowed this based off an assumption – a belief that the schools would sell – majority of which were.

    Why are state regulators allowed by the ED to impose penalty’s and fees to potential buyers of such schools? It wasn’t the buyers “warranty” or “guarantee”, and obviously if it were, it would be “non-transferrable”.

    How can California State Regulators choose Greed over the education of our future generation?

    Why didn’t whoever the heck is ultimately responsible for the annihilation of my daughters’ plan for success do their part to stop enrollment and allow all students in attendance to complete their study; rather than sudden closure?

    Allow me to – as usual – complete the task of an overpaid or group of overpaid title bearers, and propose the following “Plan B”:

    I propose the United States Department of Education, with the complete support and cooperation of all direct Branches of US Government, take responsibility for the continuance of each students course completion, and, for each instructors position to continue instruction to their students to all affected attending a school of sudden closure.

    This includes the monthly cost to lease and operate the current facility; the payment to the schools’ vendors contracted currently to provide supplies; and the coverage for any and all necessary positions deemed required to allow students past 120 days enrollment to complete their course of study.

    This includes the minimal funding towards giving these students their hard earned graduation night.

    I propose the government do the right thing. It’s the only obvious resolution.

  48. I left Everest in 2012, because I felt I was getting screwed out of a decent education. Since its beyond the 120 day mark, am I still eligible to contest my student loans? I’m no longer in the state(s) I attended Everest at, so I don’t know how to proceed with the individual state tuition recovery fund(s).
    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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