For profit universities have been a target of state and federal investigations for years.  I have written about this topic a number of times since 2012.  It should be noted that not all for profit colleges are scams, but there are a large number of for profit colleges, sometimes referred to as “diploma mills” that at times offer credit for your “life experience” and lure students in with promises of a helpful degree, but the students end up with a worthless degree and an empty wallet.   As a result of a lawsuit in California, Corinthian Colleges, Inc. has been ordered to pay restitution of $820 million dollars to former students and civil penalties of more than $350 million due to illegal advertising.  In addition, The U.S. Department of Education has just announced that it has approved loan discharges for more than 8,800 former Corinthian Colleges students of more than $130 million.  Corinthian Colleges operated under its Everest and WyoTech Brands in more than twenty states.  The fraudulent activities Corinthian Colleges were guilty of included misrepresenting their job placement rates, illegally using U.S. military seals in advertisements and promoting degree programs that the schools didn’t even offer.  Former students can apply for debt relief under the Department of Education’s program by going to this link for more information and forms.


Check out any school your are considering attending that is a for profit university with the United States Department of Education’s website at to make sure it is an accredited institution.

You also should investigate whether a local college, university or community college would be more cost effective for you.  For profit colleges and universities are often more expensive than these other alternatives without offering any distinct advantages.  Also, check out the graduation rates of any for profit college you are considering and finally, investigate the job prospects in your field of study.  Don’t just take the word of the college.