Shutdown of 70-campus Education Corporation of America is largest closure since collapse of Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech. Now many students will face similar questions over educational futures and debt.
After two years of an administration that has disavowed the Obama Education Department’s crackdown on for-profit colleges, there’s little sign of a comeback for the sector.
On Wednesday, one of the largest credential-granting for-profit operators still standing, Education Corporation of America, said it would close its roughly 70 campuses across the country.
Instructors and support staff at ECA chains, which include Virginia College and Brightwood College, suddenly found themselves out of a job after Friday. And students, who in many cases took out thousands of dollars in loans to attend ECA programs, were left with little information about how to continue their education elsewhere.
The shutdown happened after the company scrambled for months to shore up its troubled financial situation by closing a limited number of campuses, then attempting to overhaul its corporate structure with a court-approved receivership. But new restrictions by the Education Department on ECA’s access to federal student aid and a notice from its accreditor that recognition for its campuses would be suspended helped seal its fate, the company said.