A dozen U.S. senators, all Democrats, are pushing Corinthian Colleges Inc. to stop accepting new students in a letter to the Department of Education.
Corinthian owns the Everest College, Heald College and WyoTech schools and has about 75,000 students.
The Education Department last week worked out a deal with Corinthian that gives it $16 million in federal student-aid funds to keep the company running as it figures out a plan to sell or close many schools over the next six months. Corinthian, which has more than 100 campuses, said it will look for new owners for most of its schools and hopes to have sales agreements in place within about six months.
Santa Ana, California-based Corinthian had recently warned that it could go out of business, after U.S. regulators limited its access to federal funds. The government is scrutinizing the company over allegations that it altered grades and student attendance records, and falsified job-placement data used in ads.
In the letter addressed to Education Department head Arne Duncan Thursday, the 12 senators said students need to be protected from the company. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who is also the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, was one of the politicians who signed the letter.
“Corinthian has shown itself to be one of the worst actors in the for-profit college industry,” the letter said.
Representatives from Corinthian and the Education Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The letter also wants the Education Department to make sure the company explains to students its plans and to stop any for-profit education company that’s under investigation from purchasing from or taking on students from Corinthian.