One of Everest College's student parking lots.
The U.S. Department of Education is in the process of contacting 5,700 former students who took out federal loans between 2011 and 2014 to attend the schools once owned by Corinthian Colleges, Inc. such as Everest College. During this time period, investigators found that Corinthian misrepresented its post-graduation employment rates for certain programs.
Maila Bautista is one example of a student who believes she was deceived by Everest College. After borrowing $15,000 to attend Everest and graduate in November 2009, the former medical billing student worked as a receptionist in a doctor’s office. This new position didn't last long because began working at Walmart, her previous employer, shortly after.
She did not receive any of the job placement help that Everest originally promised, and it wasn’t the career she expected. As mentioned before, she’s at Walmart, where she worked before attending Everest, and is paying $120 each month toward her loan according to KitsapSun.
This story is one of many that are cropping up all throughout the U.S. as for-profit colleges are beginning to face heightened scrutiny.
According to The Student Loan Report, data from the Department of Education pointed out a lack of success in landing a job after graduation from a for-profit school. Furthermore, for-profit colleges are believed to represent a significant portion of student default cases over the last three years.
In light of these discoveries, for-profit colleges began to face repercussions. The well-known ITT Tech shut its doors last year after being barred from enrolling new students for violating a federal funding stipulation. Other schools experienced similar consequences; for instance, a business for-profit school in Minnesota lost eligibility for federal funding after being accused of inflating job placement rates according to The Student Loan Report.
In light of the for-profit college backlash, Everest schools continue to operate in Tacoma and Everett, and are now owned by Zenith Education Group, a nonprofit, which took over the Corinthian properties in February 2015. Since taking over the schools, Zenith instituted widespread changes, according to a statement from its president, Peter J. Taylor. These changes included reducing tuition by 20 percent and reforming curriculum as well as the admissions processes.
If you were a student at Everest College in Bremerton, WA, then you might want to contact your state Attorney General ASAP—you might be eligible to have your remaining loans canceled or have the money you already paid refunded.
Keep in mind that your loan obligations are not guaranteed to be forgiven; only confirmation from the Department of Education or a valid federal contact can verify this. Former students who want information on their eligibility should call the official U.S. Department of Education hotline.
Image Copyright © Jeramey Jannene