2 For-Profit Higher-Education Companies Will Close Campuses

The Education Management Corporation, a for-profit higher-education company beset by layoffs and debt, will shut down 15 of its Art Institute campuses, the company disclosed on Wednesday.

The closures are the latest in a long line of indicators of EDMC’s precarious financial position. As of last summer, the company’s debt payments were outpacing its revenue; EDMC has already conducted several rounds of layoffs and sold its Art Institute of Pittsburgh building. Meanwhile, the company has faced heightened scrutiny from Congress and state regulators.

When they take effect, the closures will leave EDMC with 36 active Art Institutes across the country, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The soon-to-be-shuttered institutions serve nearly 5,500 students, who will either finish their degrees or transfer during a shutdown phase that could take up to three years.

Meantime, the Career Education Corporation, a giant for-profit educator that has seen its share of state scrutiny, announced on Wednesday that it would close all 14 branches of its Sanford-Brown College and Sanford-Brown Institute, which provide career-training programs. The company — which has recently closed another college and put its Le Cordon Bleu culinary colleges on the block — also said that it would seek buyers for its Missouri College and its two Briarcliffe College campuses, and that it had found a buyer for its two-campus Brooks Institute.

All together, the moves by Career Education will affect 8,600 students in its career-schools division. The process of “teaching out” those students could take up to 18 months.

The company said its cuts would allow it to “focus its resources and attention” on Colorado Technical University and American InterContinental University, two institutions that serve adult learners. On Wednesday it reported enrollment of 20,300 at Colorado Technical and 13,500 at American InterContinental. Still, Career Education is a shadow of its former self. Five years ago, it enrolled more than 100,000 at over 90 campuses.

Goldie Blumenstyk contributed to this report.

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