Yesterday, May 4, 2015, Corinthian Colleges, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Founded in 1995, Corinthian bought more than a dozen struggling vocational colleges, and by 2010 enrolled more than 110,000 students online and at over 100 Everest, Heald and WyoTech campuses nationwide. Corinthian Colleges, who over the years became one of the nation’s largest for-profit education companies, has long come under fire from federal and state regulators, with a host of investigations and lawsuits charging falsified placement rates, deceptive marketing and predatory recruiting — targeting the most vulnerable low-income students.
Corinthian has been winding down its operations since a dispute last summer with the U.S. Department of Education threatened its viability. It later struck a deal with the Education Department to receive federal funds that would prop it up long enough to sell or shut down its more than 100 schools, attended by 70,000 students. Corinthian concluded the closings on April 26, 2015, when it closed its remaining 30 campus locations, attended by 16,000 students. Also last month, the department fined Corinthian $30 million for 947 misrepresentations of placement rates, findings that Corinthian disputed. In light of Monday’s bankruptcy filing, which listed $19.2 million in assets and $143.1 million in debts, it is unclear whether the department will ever collect the fine or recoup any taxpayer funds from Corinthian.