All 14 Canadian campuses of Everest College are up for sale, after the U.S. parent reached an agreement with U.S. lawmakers to sell or shut down the school's locations there following allegations of falsified job placement and grade data.
The parent company, Nasdaq-listed Corinthian Colleges, Inc., has more than 74,000 students spread across 107 college campuses in the U.S. The company operates schools under the names Everest College, Heald College and WyoTech.
The company's problems started late last year, when allegations emerged that the company was falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students, and was altering grades and attendance.
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When the company didn't adequately comply with requests for information, last month the U.S. Department of Education slapped a 21-day waiting period on the school and put the school on a list requiring heightened financial monitoring before it could be eligible to get student aid funds from government.
Although there are no official allegations that the company behaved similarly in Canada, the U.S. parent is selling off all of its Canadian operations.
In Canada, the company operates solely under the name Everest College, and offers degrees in dozens of programs including law enforcement, dental assistants, child care, massage therapy and esthetics.
All of the company's Canadian schools are in Ontario, spokesman Kent Jenkins told CBC News Tuesday.
"We have an agreement with the U.S. government, but that doesn't cover the Canadian schools, which will be handled separately," Jenkins said.
Jenkins did not immediately know how many students in Canada could be affected, but the company owns 14 Everest College locations across Ontario. They are in:
- Ottawa (two locations).
- Hamilton (two locations).
- Toronto (three locations).
Under the terms of the agreement, Corinthian will put 85 of its U.S. schools up for sale, and "teach out" (gradually wind down) operations at 12 other schools, which means no new students are being accepted, but remaining students will be able to finish their degrees. "Operations are continuing," Jenkins said. "Students are there, staff are there and the goal is to minimize any kind of disruption."
The 12 U.S. schools that will be closed are:
- Bensalem, Penn.
- Chelsea, Mass.
- Cross Lanes, W.Va.
- Eagan, Minn.
- Fort Worth, Texas.
- Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Kalamazoo, Mich.
- Merrillville, Ind.
- Salt Lake City, Utah.
- St. Louis, Mo.
- Silver Spring, Md.
- McLean, Va.
The company also has 12,000 employees across the U.S. and Canada.
According to a recent regulatory filing, the parent company had more than 74,000 students at the end of March, a drop of 14 per cent from the level of three months earlier. The company also saw a drop of 13 per cent in new student enrolments this past academic year.
The company's stock has lost 91 per cent of its value in the past 12 months on the Nasdaq. It's currently trading at around 22 cents per share, down from more than $18 a share about four years ago.
Jenkins said the company has no plans to close the Canadian locations because it is confident it can sell them. "We have determined we can find a buyer," Jenkins said, adding that the company hopes to have wrapped up the sale process within six months.
Students are eligible for tuition refunds as part of the U.S. settlement. The company still faces numerous state and federal investigations.