Dear Commons Community,
The Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/article/Abrupt-For-Profit-Closures/140571/?cid=at subscription required) is reporting that a number of for-profit colleges have been closing specifically those operated by American Career Institute and Academic Enterprises Inc. All of the colleges closed operated in the Northeast and together enrolled several thousand students. As reported in The Chronicle, the abrupt closures affected 2,200 students at American Career Institute(ACI), a for-profit institution that offered certificate programs in medical and dental fields, information technology, and digital media. This came just over a week after Academic Enterprises Inc., the parent company of Sawyer Schools and Butler Business School, announced that it was shutting down campuses in Connecticut and Rhode Island that served more than 650 students.
“In both cases, regulators and accreditors were as surprised as the students. They said they hadn’t received any complaints from students about the colleges, and saw no red flags in their annual audits.
“This just dropped on us like a bomb,” said Michael F. Trainor, special assistant to the commissioner for Rhode Island’s Office of Higher Education, who learned of the Sawyer and Butler closings when a television reporter called him at home.
Maryland regulators said that ACI, which blamed its closure on a loss of credit, had just upgraded the equipment on one of its Maryland campuses and was operating at a profit.”
Enrollments at for-profit colleges have dropped precipitously in the past two years since the U.S. Department of Education tightened up financial aid regulations. The for-profit sector has also been hurt by well-publicized scandals involving aggressive marketing and falsifying financial disclosure forms.