Federal and local agents served search warrants yesterday and today in raids on campuses of several for-profit colleges in the area of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The raids occurred at three locations: yesterday on the campuses of Florida Career College in Lauderdale Lakes and in Pembroke Pines, and today on the campus of the National School of Technology in Fort Lauderdale.
At the Florida Career College campuses, agents carted away boxes of documents, while stunned students and faculty members looked on. Classes were canceled for the day.
A spokeswoman for Corinthian Colleges Inc., which owns the National School of Technology chain, said the company had been given no reason for the action today, which involved the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Inspector General with the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other federal and local authorities.
“The warrant sought a broad range of documents and records, and we are cooperating with the investigation,” said the spokeswoman, Anna Marie Dunlap. The school expects to reopen tomorrow, she said.
A spokeswoman for the Education Department’s inspector general, Catherine Grant, said she could not comment on the reason for the raids. The inspector general’s office, when conducting such investigations in the past, has been working to ensure that colleges comply with requirements governing the expenditure of federal student aid.
Corinthian has taken steps in recent years to tighten its management in such areas and is unlikely to be found guilty of any “egregious” violation of federal student-aid rules, said Trace A. Urdan, an education-industry analyst with Signal Hill Capital. —Paul Basken