List Of Transfer Schools For Corinthian College Students Includes Other For-Profit Chains Under Investigation

Just because students who attended the now closed Everest University, Heald College or WyoTech campuses can’t finish their college career with Corinthian Colleges Inc., doesn’t mean they can’t finish their education somewhere else. For student who would prefer to transfer to a similar program rather than receive a refund, the Department of Education has provided a list of viable colleges. But that list has quickly garnered criticism from lawmakers because it includes other for-profit education institutions under scrutiny.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois condemned [PDF] the Dept. of Education Tuesday for suggesting that students harmed by Corinthian College’s deceptive practices transfer to other for-profit college chains currently under state or federal investigations for similar practices.

“Has the Department of Education learned nothing?” Durbin says in a statement. “How in good faith can they tell these Corinthian students – who just had their college disappear and are sitting on a pile of debt – that these are viable transfer options for their students?”

Following the closure of CCI’s remaining 28 campuses on Sunday evening, the Dept. updated its frequently asked questions page on Corinthian.

In the update, students who wish to continue their program are advised that they may be able to do so by transferring to a new school.

“If you do transfer into a comparable program offered by another school, that school will evaluate your Corinthian course work and will decide whether to give you credit for the work already completed, and what courses you need to take to complete your program of study,” the Department states, while providing a list of possible transfer options.

The list [PDF] allows students to view their specific school and other local schools with similar programs of study.

Viable transfer options for a number of the closed schools include several locations of ITT Technical Institute, DeVry University, University of Phoenix, The Arts Institutes, Argosy, Le Cordon Bleu and International Academy of Design and Technology – all of which are currently party to either a state or federal investigation.

• ITT Technical Institute, which is actually on the Department’s Heightened Cash Monitoring list, was sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in February 2014 over allegations of predatory lending. The company is also under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and 16 state attorneys general.

• Education Management Corporation, which owns The Arts Institutes and Argosy schools, is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice and 17 state attorneys general. The company is also on the DOE’s Heightened Cash Monitoring list.

• Career Education Corporation, owner of Le Cordon Bleu and International Academy of Design and Technology, is under investigation by 17 state attorneys general and on the Heightened Cash Monitoring list.

• Westwood College is being sued by the Illinois attorney general for alleged deceptive recruiting practices.

• University of Phoenix’s parent company Apollo is being investigated by two state attorneys general.

• DeVry University, which announced last week that it would move most its operations online, is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and two state attorneys general.

In addition to including the schools under investigation for deceptive practices on its list of viable alternatives, the Department fails to warn students that transferring their CCI credits could mean they will lose eligibility to discharge their Corinthian student loans.

“A move like this leads me to the sad conclusion that the Department of Education is out of touch with reality,” Durbin says. “At the end of the day, the losers are not only the students who have wasted their time and end up with debt, but also the taxpayers of America. I call on the Department of Education to put as their highest priority the casualties and victims of Corinthian Colleges, Inc.”

The Department of Education did not immediately return Consumerist’s request for comment on the list of alternative schools.