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DALLAS -- Today's complaints against Everest College haven't changed from those voiced by former students for the last five years.

Everest has four campuses in North Texas, which have produced a steady stream of dissatisfied students who've contacted News 8 since 2010.

Lavivine Nelson and Colundria Pemberton are just the latest. Both single moms trying to better themselves. They saw a $17,000, nine-month degree at Everest as a light at the end of a tunnel of poverty.

A combination of federal grants, loans, and personal loans put them in the classroom studying to be a medical administrative assistant in Ms. Nelson's case, and a medical assistant in the case of Ms. Pemberton.

Ms. Nelson finished her course work last fall, and was waiting to become an 'extern' at a hospital, arranged by Everest as part of her tuition. What she got instead was an offer to bathe old folks at a four-bed extended care facility. When she complained, she said Everest dropped her. The re-enrollment fee - a typical cash cow for for-profit schools - is $2,000.

'It's just about the dollar,' Ms. Nelson said of Everest. 'If you can get a certain amount of students to come in and make hundreds of thousands of dollars, you're going to do it.'

Ms. Pemberton was able to get a satisfactory externship. But the graduation ceremony she looked forward to never happened. In was postponed from May to July, and then a Facebook posting notified her, 'a decision was made to postpone our July 2014 Graduation (sic) to a later date.'

Everest has four campuses in North Texas with 3,000 students, a spokesman said. It is owned by Corinthian Colleges, which has 97 campuses nationwide. After years of sparring with the Department of Education over the quality of its education, and a continual drop in enrollment, Corinthian will try to sell 85 campuses.

Three of those are in North Texas: in Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth. A fourth campus in North Fort Worth will be closed.

Everest will 'teach out' the students still enrolled. 'Teach out' is a term used by failed for-profit schools to describe providing students with the classroom instruction they've already paid for.

Meanwhile, the government is permitting the open campuses to enroll new students.

Both new and old students must sign a form acknowledging they know their school is under investigation by the federal government. Camouflaged in the third paragraph of a three paragraph form is a sentence that reads like an SEC filing. It says, 'certain State and Federal regulatory authorities have initiated investigations and oversight reviews into the Company that owns this school that could result in future enforcement actions.'

One student, who signed up yesterday, was vaguely aware she had signed the form. Her father said he'd been told the school would be sold. Another current student with three months left hadn't seen it.

The Department of Education has appointed Patrick Fitzgerald, a former federal prosecutor, to monitor Corinthian Colleges. Seventy-two thousand students are affected.

The Department of Education says that's to prevent students from being 'left in the lurch.' But for a school with a track record like Corinthian's, that may have happened already.

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

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