In Meeting With Secretary Duncan, Durbin Continues To Push Better Protections For Students Wronged By Corinthian Colleges

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a meeting with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged the Department of Education to do more to protect students and taxpayers following the collapse of Corinthian Colleges, Inc. which operates under the name “Everest College” at six campuses in Illinois located in Burr Ridge, Bedford Park, Melrose Park, Merrionette Park, North Aurora and Skokie. 

“With its stock now trading at pennies, it seems the only investor left in this failed company is the federal government,” said Durbin. “This is unfair to the students who are seeking a quality education and unacceptable to the taxpayers who are looking for a return on their investment.  I told Secretary Duncan today that this has to end.  We can’t allow the worst actors in the industry to continue to fleece taxpayers while driving students into a debt they have little hope of repaying.”

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.

On June 26, Durbin joined eleven U.S. Senators in calling on the 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.  In addition, the Senators asked the Department of Education to answer a series of questions related to the protection of students and taxpayer funding. 

In response to a December 16 investigation in the Huffington Post, Durbin sent a letter to the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, asking him to investigate Corinthian Colleges, Inc. and their manipulative marketing practices which included a subsidy program for employers to hire graduates temporarily and outright lying by the company through their advertisement of numbers substantially higher than actual job placement rates.

After that letter, the Department requested information from Corinthian related to their job placement rates, information they have yet to provide, and denied the company’s new program applications.  Durbin also called on the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges – Corinthian Colleges, Inc.’s accreditor – to take action.