They're a staple of weekday daytime television.

'So you're watching TV, and you keep hearing this, 'Well, maybe I'll go to school next year.' Guess what! It's next year! It's time to start your career!'

The ads for Everest College, the beleaguered for-profit chain of schools, come early and often on 'Maury,' between segments featuring couples squabbling over child custody and DNA tests.

And they work.

'The worst thing about being off [two] days during the week are those Everest College commercials,' declared Twitter user Joesph Vasquez in an Aug. 1 tweet. 'Dude makes you feel guilty for not going.'

Despite the federal government saying it wants to put the schools out of business for breaking rules on job claims and record keeping, Everest - which has three campuses in North Texas - is still enrolling new students.

And the commercials are still airing, including in Dallas, despite Everest and its parent company, Corinthian Colleges, saying they're out of money.

So who's paying to keep the commercials running?

Most of Corinthian's income more than $1 billion last year comes from U.S. taxpayers in the form of federal grants and loans to its students.

A recent U.S. Senate reports says Corinthian spent $396 million on advertising and marketing last year.

'It's allowing a company that's effectively insolvent to use federal dollars to recruit students who maybe shouldn't be in these programs,' said Ben Miller, who studies postsecondary education at the non-profit New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.

There is nothing in Everest's TV ads saying the company is in trouble.

What about the Everest website? No clues there either, despite the fact that Corinthian reached an agreement with the government this year to close or sell its schools.

'I don't think the agreement they reached went nearly far enough to protect students, and especially prospective students who are still seeing these ads,' said Leslie Parrish from the Center for Responsible Lending, a North Carolina organization opposing predatory lending.

It will cost some Everest students a lifetime to pay back their student loans -- if they repay at all, as many students say they can't get a job after graduation with an Everest degree.

Meanwhile, the commercials for new students continue. And the Department of Education says it has no plans to make Everest stop or change them.


Read or Share this story: