BUSINESS

Everest College Shut Down In Ontario, Affecting Students At 14 Campuses

02/19/2015 03:09 EST | Updated 04/21/2015 05:59 EDT
EverestCollege.edu
TORONTO - Ontario is moving to shut down American-based Everest College, which operates 14 private career schools across the province, and offering help to students try to recover some of their tuition payments.

The superintendent of private career colleges suspended all Everest College campus activities, which government officials say will prevent it from declaring bankruptcy, at least in the short term.

The suspension will affect about 2,450 students and 450 staff at Everest College, which announced last summer that it was looking to sell off or close down all its campuses in Ontario.

Colleges and Universities Minister Reza Moridi says officials from his office will be at every Everest campus, including at night classes, to give students information about what they can do next.

Students will be offered help to find another career college they can transfer to and complete their education or apply for a refund from a $3 million fund set up for that purpose.

However, there are no guarantees anyone will get a full refund of their tuition fees.

Everest has 15 days to seek a hearing before Ontario's Licence Appeal Tribunal of the superintendent's decision.

"The superintendent was no longer satisfied that Everest could be expected to be financially responsible in the operation of a private career college and in the offering of its vocational programs," the ministry said in a release.

"One of the main priorities during this process is to ensure that students are provided with training completion options that will allow them to promptly complete their programs, with as little disruption as possible."

The Canadian Everest campuses are owned by Corinthian Colleges, a California-based company which owns 107 college campuses across North America and also offers degrees online.

Allegations of falsifying job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students at one of the company's U.S. campuses triggered an investigation by the U.S. Education Department, which eventually led to a severe cash shortage at the company when federal funds were withheld.

As a result, Corinthian Colleges agreed to close 12 campuses in 11 states and place the rest of its campuses up for sale, including those in Canada.

Everest operated campuses across Ontario, in Barrie, Brampton, Hamilton, Kitchener, Mississauga, Newmarket, Ottawa, Toronto, Sudbury and Windsor.

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