For-profit school chain Corinthian Colleges will look to sell 85 of its U.S. campuses -- including several in Southern California -- and close a dozen more under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education.
The announcement comes after a letter sent from the Department to the company asking for extensive information regarding placement results, attendance and grade changes went months without a full response. In June, the Department asked for more documents, including monthly updates on certain student information, including placements, according to a document from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Corinthian Colleges’ access to Federal student aid funds were held until the Department received the information. More than 100 employees worked to gather the information, the document states.
The halt in funds hurt the business, which according to reports, has been facing the prospect of closures for months.
"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with ED that helps protect the interests of our students, employees and other stakeholders," CEO Jack Massimino said in a statement. "This agreement allows our students to continue their education and helps minimize the personal and financial issues that affect our 12,000 employees and their families.”
The chain, which includes Heald, Everest and WyoTech schools, serves about 70,000 students, according to KPCC. Everest and WyoTech schools are located throughout Southern California, including Anaheim, West Los Angeles and Reseda.
Nearly 30 campuses connected to Corinthian College have shut down all operations.
One student, who attended a Heald College in Milpitas, California, said she was furious.
"I'm pissed to say the least because now I have all my loans that are going to come due," Kristina Laguna-Vlass said. "I'm a single mom with four kids, and I’m only working part-time because I was doing my schooling, and there’s no way I’m going to be able to cover my loans."
The company said it is working to help its 16,000 students continue their education with other schools. But Laguna-Vlass said so far, the only advice she has received is to pick up her transcript.
Corinthian Colleges campuses are slated to be sold in about six months and new student enrollment will be suspended until July 8.