For-profit college to sell most campuses

WASHINGTON - For-profit education company Corinthian Colleges (COCO) is selling most of its more than 100 campuses.

Under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, the publicly traded Corinthian will put of its 85 of its 107 campuses up for sale and close 12 others. The company, which as of last year had more than 81,000 students and is one of the largest post-secondary education providers in the U.S., will also move to sell its 17 schools in Canada.

The department put California-based Corinthian on heightened financial monitoring last month with a 21-day waiting period for federal funds. That came after Corinthian failed to provide adequate paperwork and comply with the department's requests to address concerns about the company's practices.

Those concerns included allegations of falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students, and allegations of altered grades and attendance.

"This agreement allows our students to continue their education and helps minimize the personal and financial issues that affect our 12,000 employees and their families," said Corinthian CEO Jack Massimino in a statement.

Corinthian was formed in 1995 and went public in 1999, during the technology boom. Its schools included Everest, Heald and WyoTech colleges.

The sides earlier reached an initial agreement that allowed the company to obtain an immediate $16 million in federal student aid funds to keep operating. But a more detailed plan will be worked out.

"The Department's foremost interest is to protect students and make sure they are educated by institutions that operate in accordance with our standards," U.S. Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell said in month after saying the agency said it was monitoring Corinthian. "We made the decision to increase oversight of Corinthian Colleges after careful consideration and as part of our obligations to protect hardworking taxpayers and students' futures."

Corinthian's stock, which in 2009 traded as high as $20 a share, have since sunk to 28 cents. Deutsche Bank analysts said in May that it was "hard to see anything but losses" for the school in its upcoming fiscal year.

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