Heald College's future hinges on sale - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Heald College's future hinges on sale

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. Department of Education Tuesday fined Corinthian Colleges $30 million. The DOE alleges Corinthian, which owns Heald College, misrepresented job placement rates to students. The company is appealing the fine as it searches for a buyer for Heald. But there's a real possibility the college could be closing if it isn't sold.

"It's very important that we are able to secure a sales agreement this week," Honolulu campus president Mike Van Lear said.

Last year, cash strapped Corinthian agreed with the DOE to sell Heald's California and Hawaii campuses by mid-April or shut them down. Van Lear said there are three interested buyers, but a pending lawsuit by California's Attorney General has slowed the process.

"There's concern that any buyer that wants to purchase Heald is going to have to assume the liability that the AG has with Corinthian Colleges," he said.

Heald has twelve locations in California and Honolulu. Ten thousand students signed an on-line petition to save the institution.

"If they do end up closing, there will be things and obstacles that I will have to overcome," student Kelly Bance said.

"Having the institution stay open will definitely be of value to all of us," Kawika Varde said.

Heald offers associate degrees in healthcare, business, legal and technology fields. This year, the Honolulu college has 966 students.

"I really want it to stay open. I love it here," Bance said.

"We have really high confidence and faith things will work through," Varde said.

"I tell them that I have the confidence in our leadership at our central office that this will go through, meaning a sale, and that we will go on in our legacy," Van Lear said.

But there is also contingency talk of where students can transfer their credits if Heald goes under. The college's next quarter is set to begin on April 20.

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