Call for Corinthian to immediately stop enrolling students
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and ten additional U.S. Senators called on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to protect students while continuing to hold Corinthian Colleges, Inc. accountable, including immediately prohibiting them from enrolling any new students. After failing to provide required data to the Department of Education about its practices, including falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students and allegations of altered grades and attendance, Corinthian has now agreed to sell or close its campuses across the country. This places the company’s 70,000 current students at risk, but also presents the opportunity to find better educational opportunities for these students. The for-profit college is currently under investigation by 20 states, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In addition to Blumenthal and Murphy, the Senators signing on to today’s letter include: Assistant Senate Majority Leader U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL); Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
“Corinthian College Incorporated represents a risk to students on a scale that could overwhelm the current system of support and safety net provisions for students. Corinthian has shown itself to be one of the worst actors in the for-profit college industry,” wrote the Senators. “It is important that the Department continue to hold Corinthian accountable for its actions, but we must not let students be held responsible for the bad actions of this company.”
In addition, the Senators asked the Department of Education to answer a series of questions related to the protection of students and taxpayer funding. They also called for the Department to take the following actions:
Full text of the letter is below:
June 25, 2014
The Honorable Arne Duncan
Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
Dear Secretary Duncan:
[We] write to ensure that the Department of Education is doing everything it can to protect students who will be displaced or disadvantaged as a result of the impending sale or closure of Corinthian College Incorporated’s campuses nationwide. Over the past several years we have seen multiple examples of abrupt school closures that have left students in the lurch, scrambling to continue their education or discharge their loans. Corinthian College Incorporated represents a risk to students on a scale that could overwhelm the current system of support and safety net provisions for students.
Corinthian has shown itself to be one of the worst actors in the for-profit college industry – under investigation by four additional federal agencies and more than 20 State Attorneys General. It is important that the Department continue to hold Corinthian accountable for its actions, but we must not let students be held responsible for the bad actions of this company. As such, we urge the Department to:
In addition, we request answers to the following questions:
We request a prompt response to each of these requested actions and questions. Thank you for your work to hold for-profit colleges, like Corinthian, accountable. We encourage you to continue conducting aggressive oversight of this industry.