The Department of Education (ED), along with California Attorney General Kamala Harris, on Tuesday announced the results of a joint investigation into misleading job placement rates of Corinthian Colleges’ Wyotech and Everest programs, which could lead to debt relief for more former students of the large for-profit college chain.
ED on Tuesday released recalculated job placement rates that correct for records the investigation found to be “false, materially incomplete or otherwise inaccurate,” according to a release. In some cases, the adjusted job placement rates are as much as 80 percentage points lower than what Wyotech and Everest reported to ED.
One associate degree program for accounting offered by Everest University Online, for example, purported to students to have a 92 percent placement rate, and now has a recalculated placement rate of just 12 percent. Several other programs – ranging from computer information science to business to medical assistant fields – have recalculated placement rates more than 50 percentage points lower than what they reported to students. Many other job placement rates, however, appear to have been adjusted by less than 20 percentage points.
“The results of our joint investigation will allow us to get relief to more students, more efficiently,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, in a statement. “Helping wronged students is much easier when everyone – Congress, state attorneys general, accreditors, authorizers and the Department – does their part to protect students and works together. Our team welcomes help from anyone who wants to follow her lead.”
ED said the results of the investigation will be referred to Special Master Joseph Smith, who will “work to make these findings actionable under the borrower defense process,” according to the release.
Earlier this year, ED created a multi-track debt relief process for students whose schools were closed, or who feel they were defrauded. Smith in September released a report with an update on ED’s debt relief process, sharing that the department has received and approved thousands of closed school discharge claims.
“Corinthian preyed on vulnerable students who are now buried under mountains of student debt,” Harris said in a statement. “Today's joint investigation findings will expand the pool of Corinthian students eligible for streamlined student loan relief options, helping them rebuild their lives and pursue a brighter future.”
Publication Date: 11/18/2015