For-profit colleges promise advanced training and success in the job field in one’s specific field of study. However, there are some schools have been selling graduate job placements to companies in order to pad their own job placement statistics thus earning federal money.
In an extensive Huffington Post report, several branches of Everest College, a subsidiary of Corinthian Colleges, promised lasting careers for its graduates. But it turned out that the college actually paid businesses $2,000 to hire graduates for 30 days and then the businesses would lay off the graduates.
This hiring scheme was a tactic used by the college to maintain increased job placement statistics and to “tap federal student aid coffers.” The money from federal aid accounted for 80 percent of Corinthian’s revenue. The “turn-and-burn” style of job placement these graduates experience leaves them buried in debt and disenfranchised.
“Before I signed up, they said, ‘We’ll find you the job,’” said Johnna Heath who studied medical billing at Everest College in Everett, WA. “I was like, ‘Oh boy, that’s great. That just takes all the weight off my shoulders.’”
Heath never landed the job that Everest promised her and had to move back in with her parents.
Eric Parms of Decatur, GA is a middle-aged man with children, one of Corinthian’s target demographics. He had a similar experience as he was fired from his job in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) shortly after being hired. The company, paid by the college, used Parms and other fresh graduates to help with a contract job but tossed them away when the job was done.
He tried to go to Everest College career services for help but was ignored.
“We busted our [expletive] to get that job done,” said Parms. “But once that was over, they never called us back.”
Corinthian’s wanton actions are nothing new. In 2007, the company paid $6.5 million to settle false advertising allegations. Of that money, $5.8 million went to students’ restitution. The settlement forced Corinthian to cut 11 courses for 18 months.
Despite the settlement, Corinthian is the target of another suit filed by the State of California for “misrepresenting job-placement rates to students and investors, advertising programs that it does not offer,” and other wrongdoings. Corinthian targets desperate, low-income people using flashy marketing only to draw tuition money from those people and leave them out in cold.
According to the California attorney general’s office, “The complaint alleges that Corinthian executives knowingly misrepresented job placement rates to investors and accrediting agencies, which harmed students, investors, and taxpayers.”