For-profit Anthem College has told the state of Missouri it plans to lay off 67 employees in the next two months.
The school has put up a notice on its website that its campuses in Kansas City, Fenton and Maryland Heights are no longer enrolling new students but it hasn't confirmed the college is closing down.
The news comes just weeks after for-profit Corinthian College announced it would sell or close dozens of schools, including the Everest College campus in Kansas City. For now, that school continues to enroll new students.
Kansas City attorney Gene Graham predicts more closures are in the offing.
"In addition to all the private litigation going on, there's a group of about 16 different state attorneys general working together – and our attorney general, Chris Koster, is one of those 16 states – they are attempting to rein these proprietary schools in," says Graham, who's been involved in litigation against for-profit schools for years.
Graham says state and federal officials are holding such schools accountable for what he calls "predatory" loan practices in which students rack up big debts for degrees that won't help them advance in their career.
He says students considering applying to a for-profit college should first check with their attorney general's consumer complaints division.
"One of the things that happens when they shut the schools down and they're not taking new students in, then they severely limit the class offerings that are available," Graham says. "A lot of people become discouraged and they'll quit halfway through. Then they'll have a big chunk of student loan debt."
Graham also recommends comparing for-profit college course offerings with those of local community colleges since credits from community colleges are more likely to transfer between institutions.