The U.S. Department of Education has fined San Francisco-based Heald College, a member of the for-profit Corinthian College system, nearly $30 million for falsifying graduate job placement rates. A federal investigation discovered that Heald College was underhandedly boosting the number of students that were employed upon graduation and reporting that elevated number to the government and prospective students.
According to the Department of Education, Heald was paying temp agencies to hire graduates, for as short as two days, so the college could list those students as employed upon graduation. Heald did not disclose that its placement rates also included students who began working before graduation and students who began working even before enrolling in the college. Heald College also came under fire for mislabeling graduates who found a job related to their field of study.
The Corinthian network of for-profit colleges has recently seen numerous accusations of misleading prospective students. They have also been accused of issuing high-interest loans to low-income students, resulting in a lawsuit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The state of California has filed a similar lawsuit against the company.
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