Roughly 16,000 students enrolled in a chain of troubled for-profit colleges are no longer able to take classes after the schools' parent company, Corinthian Colleges, Inc., announced Sunday it is ceasing all of its operations.
The Orange County-based school network has not yet made arrangements with other schools to find "continuing educational opportunities" at its 28 remaining campuses, which are closing effective Monday, the school said.
CCI added that it would rely on the help of regulatory agencies and partner institutions to place students enrolled at Heald College campuses in California, Hawaii and Oregon, as well as Everest and WyoTech schools in California, Arizona and New York.
“Now we're going have to make a mad dash to find another option. For some of us this was our last resort," said Krisa Mata, a student who said she took out loans to attend CCI's Everest College in Reseda.
"It's the first thing I saw on my phone when I woke up. I have no idea what I'm gonna do now," she said.
The announcement occurs less than two weeks after the U.S. Department of Education said it was fining the institution $30 million over misrepresentation. The department contends that Corinthian has not addressed allegations of falsifying job placement data and altering grades and attendance records, The Associated Press reported.
The school was unable to sell off all its schools under a deal with the U.S. Department of Education, it said in a statement, though it has sold 56.
"Largely as a result of recent state and federal regulatory actions, we were unable to complete a sale, and our only option was to close our schools," CEO Jack Massimino wrote in a letter to students posted on the school's website.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris sued Corinthian in 2013 for allegedly misrepresenting how many of its graduates were placed in jobs in actions she called “unconscionable” and “predatory." She also alleged that the chain advertised that it offered classes it did not.
It agreed the next year to sell 85 campuses and close a dozen more in an agreement with the Department of Education, which was closely monitoring school data, according to information submitted to a federal regulatory agency.
Corinthian was one of the country's largest for-profit educational institutions, according to the AP. It collapsed last summer amid a cash shortage and fraud allegations.