Zovio's "dumpster fire" is reminding so much of the collapse of Corinthian Colleges, ITT Tech, Education Management Corporation, Career Education Corporation schools, Apollo Group, ECA, Laureate Education, and so many others. Zovio is on trial in California and its faculty is down to a skeleton crew. WASC is watching. ED and other federal agencies are watching. Law enforcement agencies have been alerted. ZVO is moving closer to a cash crunch. Shares of ZVO went down to $1.31 after hours. When I asked a heavy hitter in the higher ed business about the new CEO, he half-jokingly said "looks like a good reason to short the stock."
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Zovio is not Corinthian Colleges, but it is worth looking at Corinthian Colleges (COCO), ITT Tech (ESI), and Education Management Corporation (EDMC) to consider ZVOs options.
RH has a rough job ahead, and there are many options to consider. It's likely that all of these options lead to cost cutting and painful layoffs. That's even with more government bailouts.
At this stage of the game, it doesn't look like Zovio can survive as currently organized.
With Corinthian Colleges, the Obama Administration forced student loan servicer ECMC to buy COCO and imposed a federal monitor. A tiny remnant of the schools exists.
ITT Tech (ESI) went bankrupt quickly and everyone lost their job.
EDMC faced enormous financial pressures and broke up; a portion was sold to the non-profit Dream Center Foundation, which soon folded. Some of the former EDMC schools are still in operation but little is known about their profitability.
Breaking ZVO up certainly looks like a possibility. Anyone that buys the OPM portion will be dealing with lots of complicated issues, including ongoing state and federal investigations (word to the wise: do not destroy records and document as much as possible).
You know it's bad when a small increase in share price is referred as a "dead cat bounce." But wait a second, that was almost a decade ago. All the other players have gone to the big for-profit college in the sky, but somehow Bridgepoint has survived. Is there still hope, for the new CEO to save the day?