An Architectural Take on the Collapse of Corinthian Colleges

I just came across the following description of the closing of Corinthian Colleges, written in May 2015 by Lawrence Biemiller for The Week:


Corinthian Crumbles

In classical architecture, Corinthian is the most elaborate of the orders, recognizable by the acanthus leaves carved into column capitals. In higher education, however, Corinthian is a company accused by state and federal regulators of being, basically, an elaborate scheme for soaking up student-aid money, with a commitment to educating students that was uneven at best.

Last week what remained of Corinthian’s edifice crumbled when four of its subsidiaries closed abruptly–Everest College, Everest Institute, Heald College, and WyoTech–and some 16,000 students at 28 campuses, mostly in Western states, found themselves with no classes to attend. The company, which had previously closed its other campuses after coming under intense federal scrutiny, said it had hoped to sell the remaining outlets but couldn’t do so because the California attorney general’s office wouldn’t excuse potential purchasers from liability under a lawsuit the state filed against the company.

Some students said they had been warned in advance to get copies of their transcripts because their colleges could be in trouble, but few appeared to have made back-up plans. Other institutions scrambled to contact the displaced students. But experts said the transfer process could be daunting for many–after all, Corinthian’s own documents said the company marketed itself to those who saw themselves as “stuck” and “unable to see and plan well for the future”–as could the process of seeking discharges of their federal student loans because the institutions had closed. Worst of all, said Robyn C. Smith, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center, “there’s nothing you can do about the lost time and the work that they put into their Corinthian education.”

Meanwhile, the DeVry Education Group said it would close 14 DeVry University locations because of a 15-percent drop in enrollment.



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