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Students React To The Closure Of A Giant For-Profit College

After a long reign as the fastest-growing and most problematic sector in higher education, for-profit colleges are on the ropes.

Between 2000 and 2010, enrollment at the nation’s for-profit colleges quadrupled, peaking at 1.7 million — or one in 10 colleges. These colleges benefited from both the Internet boom and the relaxing of credit in the run-up to the financial crisis. But the sector has been plagued by repeated allegations of financial mismanagement, fraud and abuse. For-profit colleges have been the target of class-action lawsuits, congressional investigations, and probes by state attorneys general.

One such for-profit was targeted by the U.S. Department of Education, which halted funding to Corinthian Colleges last month. Unable to operate with even a temporary cash freeze, Corinthian  struck a deal with the education department to sell or close all of its campuses.

The closure of Corinthian raises an immediate dilemma: What will happen to its 72,000 students all across the country?