Corinthian Colleges

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Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (CCi) (NASDAQCOCO) is one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America. It faces numerous investigations and lawsuits. [1]

CCi's schools offer career-oriented diploma and degree programs in health care, business, criminal justice, transportation technology and maintenance, construction trades, and information technology. [2] CCi has over 100 Everest, Heald and WyoTech campuses throughout the United States and Canada, and also offers degrees exclusively online.[3]

The California Attorney General states that Corinthian Colleges targets single parents who are close to the poverty level, a demographic that its internal documents describe as “composed of ‘isolated,’ ‘impatient,’ individuals with ‘low self-esteem,’ who have ‘few people in their lives who care about them’ and who are ‘stuck’ and ‘unable to see and plan well for future,’ through aggressive and persistent internet and telemarketing campaigns and through television ads on daytime shows like Jerry Springer and Maury Povich.’ ” [4]


CCi was founded in 1995.[5] Historically, CCi has grown through acquisitions and through organic growth, including opening new branch campuses, remodeling, expanding or relocating existing campuses, and adopting curricula into existing colleges. [6]

Acquired Schools:[7]

  • American Motorcycle Institute
  • Ashmead College
  • Blair College
  • Bryman College
  • Bryman Institute
  • Duff's Business Institute
  • Florida Metropolitan University
  • Georgia Medical Institute
  • Kee Business College
  • Las Vegas College
  • National Institute of Technology
  • National School of Technology
  • Olympia Career Training Institute
  • Olympia College
  • Parks College
  • Rochester Business Institute
  • Tampa College
  • Western Business College

Schools and Programs[edit]


CCi operates Everest campuses in the United States and Canada.

Everest Institute offers diploma programs in health care, business, computer technology, electronics, and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). [8]

Everest College offers diploma and associate’s degree programs in the health care, business, and computer technology fields.[9]

Everest University offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs. It offers programs in a variety of fields, including business, accounting, criminal justice, paralegal studies, and health care. [10] Everest University campuses also offer diploma programs in health care. There are ten Everest University campuses across Florida, which were formerly known as Florida Metropolitan University. [11]

Everest University Online[edit]

Everest University Online (EUO), a division of Everest University, offers online degree programs in accounting, applied management, business, computer information science, criminal investigations, criminal justice, criminal investigations, homeland security, and paralegal studies. [12] EUO is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

Everest College Phoenix[edit]

Everest College Phoenix offers bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, and diploma programs. It offers programs in accounting, business, medical assisting, medical insurance billing and coding, nursing, criminal investigation, criminal justice, and paralegal studies.[13] Everest College Phoenix has campuses in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, as well as an online learning center. [14]

Everest College Phoenix is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and School. [15]

Heald College[edit]

Heald College is one of the nation’s oldest business career colleges in the Western United States, with roots extending back to 1863. [16] Heald offers associate’s degree, diploma, and certificate programs. It offers programs in various fields, including health care, accounting, business, computer technology, criminal justice, and paralegal studies. [17]

Heald College is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. [18] Heald College has campuses in California, Oregon, and Hawaii, as well as an online learning center. [19]

In November 2009, it was announced that CCi was purchasing Heald’s parent company for $395 million.[20] In January 2010, CCi announced that it had completed the acquisition. [21] CCi retained the Heald name, and it was reported that it also retained its faculty and staff. [22]


WyoTech offers career-oriented training for mechanical and technical occupations in the automotive, diesel, motorcycle, watercraft, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), electrician, and plumbing fields. [23] WyoTech has campuses in Pennsylvania, Florida, California, and Wyoming.[24]


Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental process by which institutions submit themselves to qualitative review by an organization of peer institutions.[25]

There are two basic types of accreditation: (1) institutional; and (2) specialized or programmatic.[26] Institutional accreditation normally applies to an entire institution while specialized or programmatic accreditation normally applies to programs, departments, or schools that are part of an institution. [27] Institutional accreditation is performed by both regional accrediting agencies and national accrediting agencies.[28]

Accrediting agencies primarily examine the quality of the education offered at the institution.[29] A grant of accreditation is generally viewed as certification that an institution and its programs meet generally accepted levels of quality. [30]

Everest College Phoenix campuses are regionally institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC). [31] Heald College campuses are regionally institutionally accredited by the Senior College and University Commission – Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC Senior). [32] Everest Institute, Everest College, Everest University, and Wyotech campuses are nationally institutionally accredited by one of two national accrediting agencies: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC); or Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). [33]

AHLC, WASC Senior, ACCSC, and ACICS are recognized by the Secretary of the United States Department of Education as reliable authorities concerning the quality of education and training offered by the CCi institutions that they accredit. [34]

Faculty and Students[edit]

As of December 31, 2013, CCi’s total student population was 77,584.[35] As with the entire education sector, CCi has faced a decrease in enrollment and a corresponding depressed stock price. CCi’s top mutual fund holder is Wells Fargo Advantage Small Cap Value Fund. [36]

As of June 30, 2013, CCi had approximately 15,200 employees in North America, including 6,000 full-time and part-time faculty members.[37]

For five consecutive years, CCi has been named a Top Workplace in Orange County, California where its headquarters are located. [38]

Financial Aid[edit]

The Higher Education Act provides that a private, for-profit institution, such as CCi’s institutions, may derive no more than 90% of its revenue from the Title IV federal student aid programs.[39] In 2010, CCi reported that it received 81.9% of revenue from Title IV federal student aid programs. [40]

Student Loan Default Rate

A significant requirement imposed by Congress is a limitation on participation in Title IV programs by institutions whose former students default on the repayment of federal student loans in excess of specified rates (“Cohort Default Rates”).[41] On March 25, 2013, CCi received a draft three-year Cohort Default Rates from the U.S. Department of Education for students who entered repayment during the federal fiscal year ending September 30, 2010 (the “2010 Cohort”), measured over three federal fiscal years of borrower repayment. The weighted average of CCi’s institutions was 19.0%, a 9.0 percentage point decrease from the 28.0% weighted average for the three-year cohort default rate for students who entered repayment during the prior fiscal year. [42] For the 2010 Cohort, none of CCi’s institutions exceeded the default threshold set by the U.S. Department of Education. [43]

Legal proceedings[edit]

In 2004, a former student from Florida Metropolitan University initiated an action against CCi, claiming he was misled with respect to the school’s accreditation and his ability to transfer credits.[44] The lawsuit proceeded in arbitration pursuant to the agreement between the parties. After hearing all of the evidence, the arbitrator found in favor of CCi on all counts and dismissed the lawsuit. [45]

In April 2005, fourteen students from Bryman College’s Tacoma, Washington campus filed an action against CCi in the Superior Court of the State of Washington. The students claimed they did not receive proper training for their careers in medical assisting, that they were misled about the program’s accreditation status, their eligibility to take a national certification exam, the transferability of their credits, and the availability of internships. The case was removed to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and was ultimately dismissed.

In 2008, a purported class action suit was filed against CCi and a wholly owned subsidiary in Santa Clara Superior Court on behalf of graduates of Bryman College’s medical assistant vocational programs. The lawsuit alleged that Bryman made untrue or misleading statements to students related to employment success, in order to induce them to enroll and stay enrolled in their medical training programs. [46] This case was ultimately dismissed. [47]

State of California lawsuits[edit]

In July 2007, the California Attorney General announced that, without any findings or admissions of wrongdoing, CCi agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle allegations that the school engaged in false advertising.[48] The amount included $5.8 million in restitution to students as well as $500,000 in civil damages and $200,000 in investigation costs. [49] [50] CCi issued a statement saying: “We disagree with the Attorney General's conclusions, but we are pleased to have this matter behind us. The agreement is not evidence of wrongdoing, and the company specifically denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement. We are fully committed to providing quality education and job placement services for students and to being in compliance with state law and regulation.” [51]

In October 2013, the State of California again sued CCi alleging “false and predatory advertising, intentional misrepresentations to students, securities fraud and unlawful use of military seals in advertisements.” [52] [53] According to the California Attorney General’s complaint, CCi’s “predatory marketing efforts specifically target vulnerable, low-income job seekers and single parents who have annual incomes near the federal poverty line. In internal company documents obtained by the Department of Justice, CCI describes its target demographic as ‘isolated,’ ‘impatient,’ individuals with ‘low self-esteem,’ who have ‘few people in their lives who care about them’ and who are ‘stuck’ and ‘unable to see and plan well for future.’” [54]

In November 2013, CCi issued a statement asserting that the California Attorney General’s complaint is “a document built on a foundation of misquoted, deceptively excerpted and—at best—misunderstood materials.” [55] It went on to say that the California Attorney General is “wrongly accusing our schools of inflating job placement statistics for our graduates.” [56] CCi indicated that it plans to “vigorously defend the integrity of the work we do for our students and graduates.” [57]

Federal investigation in the United States[edit]

On October 17, 2007, U.S. Department of Education investigators seized records at Florida campuses of for-profit colleges, including CCi’s former National School of Technology in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Florida Career College in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida and Pembroke Pines, Florida.[58] The school reported that it was not informed why the records were seized or why similar actions had been taken against other institutions in the area. [59] The campus re-opened the next day. [60]

In June 2013, CCi disclosed that it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).[61]CCi is cooperating with the SEC in its investigation. The SEC has not filed any actions against CCi in connection with this investigation.

In November 2013, the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that they were investigating CCi. [62] ] In December 2013, CCi received a “Notice and Opportunity to Respond and Advise” letter from the CFPB. [63] CCi responded by stating that it “believes that its acts and practices relating to student loans are lawful and that its lending program is essential to many students." [64] The company also explained that the loans offered under the program are “modest in size and have reasonable interest rates,” and that the loans allow many students to attend college who otherwise would not have the opportunity to do so. [65] The average loan amount per borrower is $4,700 and the average annual interest rate is 8.5 percent and the maximum rate is 9.9 percent. Loans are only offered to students who have a gap between their educational costs and the available financial aid from all other government and personal sources. [66]The CFPB has not filed any actions against CCi in connection with this investigation.

Other Investigations[edit]

In August 2007, the State of Florida closed an investigation into Florida Metropolitan University with no fines, penalties or findings of wrongdoing.[67] The Florida Office of the Attorney General and Florida Metropolitan University entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance acknowledging that Florida Metropolitan University participates in the Florida Statewide Course Numbering System to facilitate the transfer of eligible credits to other institutions.

Florida Metropolitan University agreed to continue its efforts to help students with transfer credits and to provide students with clear disclosures.[68]

CCi is awaiting the outcome of regulatory investigations by the SEC and state prosecutors.On January 24, 2014, the Iowa Attorney General’s office notified CCi that it is leading an investigation by thirteen states into CCi’s business practices.[69] CCi stated that it intends to cooperate.[70] No state attorney general case has been tried and no findings adverse to CCi have been made.


In 2013, CCi issued a study with economic consultancy Encina Advisors revealing a growing workforce training gap in California that threatens the state's economic recovery and future job growth. [71] The study also found that California Latinos will be disproportionately impacted by the workforce training shortage. [72]

Historic names[edit]


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  44. ^ "Bad Education". Orlando Weekly. April 4, 2005. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Corinthian Colleges Reports Favorable Arbitration Award in Satz Case - Arbitrator Finds in Favor of Company on All Counts". U.S. News and World Report. January 23, 2006. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
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  49. ^ "Corinthian to pay $6.5 million". The Orange County Register. August 1, 2007. 
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  53. ^ "Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Files Suit in Alleged For-Profit College Predatory Scheme". California Office of the Attorney General. October 10, 2014. 
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  58. ^ "Corinthian Colleges School Is Latest Florida Campus to Be Scene of Federal Raid". The Chronicle of Higher Education. October 17, 2007. 
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  62. ^ "For-Profit Colleges Face Consumer Bureau Probe on Lending Roles". Bloomberg. 
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