For-profit Corinthian Colleges likely to shut down

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Corinthian Colleges Inc., one of the biggest for-profit higher education companies in the United States, is preparing to close or sell its institutions.

The company missed a deadline Tuesday to file a plan with the U.S. Education Department. Federal officials said Wednesday the company expects to have the plan ready in a few days.

The government has also freed up $16 million in financial aid and private lenders are allowing Corinthian to use what remains of its $9 million line of credit. Officials say that could allow Corinthian to shut down in an orderly manner.

Corinthian also announced Tuesday it plans to sell Heald College within six months. The company acquired Heald, a 150-year-old commercial business school with campuses in California, Hawaii and Oregon, in 2009.

Corinthian operates more than 100 campuses in the United States and Canada and has 72,000 students.

Kevin Carey, director of education policy at the New America Foundation, said in a New York Times column that Corinthian had the worst record of any for-profit college as measured by tests set by regulations proposed by the Obama administration. Carey said 162 Corinthian programs, 35 percent of the total, failed and another 68, 15 percent, were in the warning zone but not bad enough to receive a failing grade.

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