Capitol Alert

Sacramento-area Corinthian colleges sometimes doubled job claims, report says

In this April 28, 2015 file photo, students wait outside Everest College in Industry, Calif., hoping to get their transcriptions and information on loan forgiveness and transferring credits to other schools. Everest and other Corinthian College, Inc.-owned school, Wyotech, gave inaccurate job placement rates to students.
In this April 28, 2015 file photo, students wait outside Everest College in Industry, Calif., hoping to get their transcriptions and information on loan forgiveness and transferring credits to other schools. Everest and other Corinthian College, Inc.-owned school, Wyotech, gave inaccurate job placement rates to students. AP

Sacramento-area campuses of schools owned by Corinthian Colleges, Inc. distorted job placement rates for students by as much as 41 percent, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the federal Department of Education and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

It found that Corinthian published false job placement rates for some 400 individual degree programs at Corinthian-owned Everest College and Wyotech campuses across California, as well as Florida-based Everest University online programs. The findings, officials said Tuesday, will make it easier for an estimated 85,000 former Everest and Wyotech students in California to seek forgiveness of the loans they took out to enroll in the programs.

“These students held up their end of the bargain,” Harris said Tuesday during a conference call with U.S. Department of Education officials. “They worked hard to pay for school, took on debt and made sacrifices, believing they were doing the right thing. And I think the least we can do now is give them what they deserve.”

Federal and state investigators have moved aggressively against Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges, charging that the for-profit higher education chain misled students with inflated claims of success in finding graduate works. Cut off from federal funds, the operator of Heald, WyoTech and Everest schools shuttered its physical campuses.

The new examination of job placement data fleshes out those allegations of inaccurate claims. At WyoTech schools in Sacramento, the analysis finds that the job placement rate Corinthian trumpeted to students and the actual success rate varied widely.

A “Collision/Refinishing Technology and Management” program that boasted a placement rate of 83 percent, for instance, in reality found jobs for just 42 percent of its graduates, the analysis finds. Similar discrepancies emerged around the state. An Everest campus in San Bernardino claimed to find work for 100 percent of its students; the real rate, officials say, was just 20 percent.

Harris’ office and the federal Department of Education continue to investigate Corinthian.

The interactive chart below shows the difference in job placement rates published by Corinthian and those determined by state and federal investigators. If on The Bee's mobile app, click here. (function(SB) {SB.load('UI.Responsive', function(){SB.UI.Responsive({'parent': '#responsive'}).render();});})(window.SB.v1);

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