THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: Nonprofit Group to Buy 56 of Corinthian’s Campuses

Career College Central Summary:

  • A nonprofit organization best known for its sometimes-controversial work in the student-loan industry is buying 56 Everest and WyoTech campuses from Corinthian Colleges Inc. The transaction, being announced today, will create the largest nonprofit career-college system in the country.
  • The new owners, the ECMC Group, say they plan to overhaul the colleges by making them more affordable and by shifting the curricular offerings to "ensure that skills being taught in the classrooms reflect actual work-force needs and will lead to jobs in their field of study" for students.
  • Everest offers certificate and associate-degree programs in health care, information technology, business, criminal justice, and the building trades. WyoTech offers programs in automotive and airplane maintenance.
  • ECMC will pay $24-million for the colleges, subject to some adjustments, according to a Corinthian filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. About $12-million of that will go to the Department of Education. The 56 campuses are among the 85 in the United States that the crippled Corinthian had previously agreed to sell under a deal it reached this summer with the U.S. Department of Education. The sale, scheduled to close in January, is still subject to final approval by the department and is likely to prompt an outcry from some student and consumer advocates who have taken issue with ECMC’s debt-collection tactics.
  • As a first step toward improving affordability, ECMC said it plans to cut tuition prices by 20 percent at most of the programs at the 53 Everest campuses it is buying. ECMC said it will also improve academic counseling and remedial education at all the colleges, and has pledged to provide millions in grant aid so that students don’t have to take out private loans to pay their tuition bills. It also plans to eliminate programs where the job prospects are poor and to invest "tens of millions of dollars" in new facilities, technology, and curricula.

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