Corinthian Colleges abruptly closes 28 campuses; 16,000 students’ future uncertain Reply

After 20 years of operation, for-profit Corinthian Colleges Inc. will shut down their remaining 28 campuses, including 10 locations in California, as well as other colleges in California, Arizona, and New York under the Everest, WyoTech, and Heald college names. Corinthian Colleges was under investigation and charged with a $30 million fine by the federal government for misrepresentation of job placement data, attendance records, deceptive and aggressive marketing tactics, and altered grades.

Even though Corinthian Colleges expected the closure for months, more than 16,000 degree-seeking students received notice Sunday that the college they had been attending will be closed starting Monday. Many students received tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and will now be looking to transfer their credits to another college in hopes to finish their degree or seek federal student loan forgiveness. However, because Corinthian Colleges was a private college, there is a strong chance that their credits will not be transferable.

Groups of devastated students are now protesting their federal student loans and meeting with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, located in Washington D.C., to help figure out a solution for all of the students affected. Many frustrated students were mere months away from graduating with a full bachelor’s degree and now face uncertainty about their educational and financial future.

At its peak, Corinthian Colleges operated 120 campuses with over 110,000 students across North America and doubled revenue to $1.75 billion from 2007 to 2011. The order of the closure comes from the U.S. Education Department, who barred access to student loans in the summer of 2014, as the Obama Administration works to crack down on frivolous for-profit colleges that promise educational and career success to people looking to better themselves and seek the American Dream.

Though this marks a potentially disastrous outcome for many students and employees of the colleges, it will be a cautionary tale for students and educational institutions alike.

The New SAT: What to Do, When, and How 1

As if the college application process wasn’t enough to worry about, the College Board has decided to layer on an entirely new complication: the announcement of the New SAT, arriving March, 2016 in school gyms near you. Fortunately, while the reasons for the launch of the New SAT are a bit complicated, the actions you should take to deal with it are not.

Before we jump in, let’s take a very quick look at the reasons why the College Board has decided to change its exam for the second time in a decade:

  1. The ACT has become more popular. The College Board is losing market share. The ACT is now taken by more students each year, and the trend away from the SAT and toward the ACT is getting steeper by the season.
  2. The SAT is now seen as the “more complicated” test. Which it is. The ACT and the SAT are both equally as difficult, but the ACT is more straightforward and As a result, the College Board is trying to craft an exam that’s much more like the current version of the ACT.
  3. People hate the current version of the SAT. Switching from 1600 to 2400 points, requiring an essay that no one reads, and disrupting the familiar format of the exam were all very unpopular moves. The new (2005) version of the test was a flop (and largely responsible for the ACT’s surge in popularity), and so the College Board is recognizing their need to change.

What’s going to change on the new test? You can find the entire list of changes here. It’s a lot to digest, so here’s an extremely brief summary:

  1. The test is going back to a 1600-point format. No more 2400-point scale – the test will go back to the familiar 1600-point scale we all know and hate, with two sections: one for math, and one for “verbal.”
  2. The essay will be optional, rather than required. Just like the ACT.
  3. Vocabulary will be less of a concern. There will still be some “in context” vocab, but for the most part, the “pure vocabulary” elements will get nixed.
  4. No more “wrong answer penalty.” Just like the ACT.
  5. More emphasis on “digesting and analyzing graphs and real-time information.” Just like the ACT.

Basically, the test as you know it is gone. For all intents and purposes, it’s going to turn into an ACT with a slightly different structure and a 1600-point grading scale.

The biggest question is this: what do you do about it?

1. If you’re taking either test before March 2016, it’s business as usual. If you want to take the SAT, take the SAT. If you want to take the ACT, take the ACT. To figure out which one you should take, use my free guide here.

2. If you’re taking your standardized tests between March 2016 and June 2016, stick with the ACT. We don’t know exactly what the new SAT will look like, or how well the College Board will roll it out, or how the grading curve will look. If you want to be a guinea pig for the College Board, then by all means – take the March, May, and June 2016 versions of the exam. Otherwise, let them work out their kinks and focus on the ACT instead. The ACT is reliable and predictable – best to stick with the devil you know.

3. After June 2016, we’ll all have a much better idea of what the new SAT looks like, acts like, and “grades” like – from there, pick whichever test works best for you. In June 2016, I’ll be launching a new, free guide to help you decide which test you should focus on.

4. If you’re planning on taking the 2015 PSAT (which will be in the “New SAT” format), study for the ACT! Currently, there aren’t enough materials out to study for the new SAT (the College Board is yet to release their guide, due in mid-June). But the New SAT will be in almost exactly the same format as the current ACT – if you prep for the ACT now, you’ll basically be killing two birds with one stone – knocking out the ACT and prepping for the PSAT. When the new PSAT materials come out this summer, you can just check those for a quick brush up and alteration before you head into the exam.

Not so bad, right? Just follow the four steps above and you’ll be all set. The New SAT is certainly a thorn in our sides, but it’s far from the end of the world. Now that you know what to do, the best piece of advice is to start prepping as soon as you possibly can! The earlier you begin this process, the sooner you’ll have it off your plate, and the more time you’ll have to improve your scores.

Anthony-James Green is world-renowned SAT and ACT tutor with over 10,000 hours of experience teaching these tests, crafting curriculum, and training other tutors to teach their own students. He is also the founder of CNN recently named Anthony: “The SAT tutor to the 1%

College, Careers, and Choosing Your Path Reply

online1We’ve seen several articles over the past weeks focusing on college choices as they relate to career success, including which majors lead to the highest and lowest incomes after graduation and whether or not the country’s oft-discussed shortage of STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, Math) majors is actually an issue. My colleague, Brendan Conway, examined both of those topics on this very blog last week – be sure to check out his insightful work here and here. More…