Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Layoff.com: Observations of the College Meltdown in Real Time (Updated February 7, 2022)

"Today, the subprime college crash is part of a less spectacular but decade-long College Meltdown. Regional universities across the US are facing lots of layoffs. With its many scandals, the University of Southern California is also on the radar with its partner in crime 2U.  Student loan servicer Maximus has also taken on greater scrutiny as they manage Navient's federal student loan portfolio. And Navient is still interesting to look at as they process toxic student loan asset-back securities. Even Harvard University is well worth watching." 

While the Higher Education Inquirer utilizes government, industry, and non-profit data, the information is often stale by the time it is analyzed. Social media, however, provide unique insights into the US subprime college crash, the student loan mess, private college closings, downsizing at state colleges and universities, college financial and political scandals, and other college-related crises as they happen. One important site is TheLayoff.com.

TheLayoff.com has provided a platform for real-time observations and information for more than a dozen years. In the case of the subprime college crash that began in 2011, workers chronicled the collapse of Corinthian CollegesITT TechEducation Management CorporationEducation Corporation of America, and other for-profit colleges as they happened. 

In 2019, as the crash continued, some of the most interesting pages to watch were: Dream Center Education Holdings and the Art InstitutesUniversity of PhoenixDeVry UniversityGraham Holdings and Kaplan Higher Education (now servicer of Purdue University Global), Laureate Education and Walden University, Bridgepoint Education (later known as Zovio, the online program manager of University of Arizona, Global Campus), and Career Education Corporation (later known as Perdoceo and parent company of Colorado Technical UniversityAmerican Intercontinental University, and Trident University International).  

In the first edition of this article, The Dream Center layoff page was particularly active as its schools and former schools, the Art Institutes, Argosy University, and South University, collapsed and $13 million in federal aid meant for student stipends was reported missing.

With austerity, downsizing, mergers and closures, layoff pages at private and public colleges also gained importance.  Green Mountain CollegeHampshire CollegeCollege of New Rochelle , and Southern Vermont College were victims.

We also watched LendingTree, and student loan servicers NavientSallie Mae, and Nelnet, predatory internet lead generators such as QuinStreet, private Christian colleges such as Liberty University, HBCUs like Bethune-Cookman University, non-profit institutions like Baker College, and public universities such as Western IllinoisSouthern IllinoisEastern MichiganUniversity of AkronUniversity of Central OklahomaUniversity of New Mexico and New Mexico StateUniversity of Alaska, Anchorage and University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Workers posting on TheLayoff.com also provided insight into businesses that surrounded the for-profit education industry, such as ECMC (a student loan servicer and owner of subprime schools) and Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools (ACICS), one of the industry's most notorious accreditors.

Today, the subprime college crash is part of a less spectacular but decade-long College Meltdown

National American University's death watch is hereUniversity of Phoenix's layoff page has also been a valuable source about student enrollment, layoffs, and unethical practices that have undermined the school.  More recently, it reported UoPX's latest low--the hiring of George Burnett, former Alta College CEO. DeVry University faces the closing of many physical campuses.  

Student loan servicer Maximus became a higher profile company when it took over Navient's portion of the federal student loan portfolio. Online program manager 2U, and CheggPearson PLC, Barnes and Noble College Booksellers, Wiley, and K12 Education also became higher profile as the College Meltdown advances.

Coursera (which has never made a profit) and soon-to-be IPO Guild Education are also important to watch.  

Most state colleges and universities have layoff pages.  For example, the University of Alaska, Anchorage has a page at https://www.thelayoff.com/uaa

Many private colleges and universities have layoff pages.  For example, the University of Southern California (https://www.thelayoff.com/usc) and Liberty University (https://www.thelayoff.com/liberty) have active pages.

Each US state has a space on the layoff.com for people facing furloughs and layoffs.  The State of Alaska, for example, is at https://www.thelayoff.com/Alaska

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