For-Profit Colleges

Be careful and do your homework before enrolling in a “for-profit” college or career training college. The for-profit college and career training industry is not part of the public school system; they operate schools to maximize profits for their investors. For-profit schools have been accused of fraud, abuse, and predatory practices targeting the poor, veterans and minorities by offering expensive degrees that often fail to deliver promised skills and jobs. Students have complained about aggressive recruiting practices, misleading graduation and employment rates, and illegal debt collection practices—their complaints suggest that many graduates can’t get jobs or afford to repay their loans. If you are not careful, enrolling in a for-profit school may leave you under a mountain of debt, but not help you get a job.

The Attorney General’s Office led the charge against California-based Corinthian Colleges for targeting low-income, vulnerable individuals through false advertisements that misrepresented job placement rates and the value of the school’s programs, obtaining a $1.1 billion judgment against Corinthian. The school has gone out of business. For more information, visit our Corinthian information page.

You may file a complaint with our office about a for-profit school using our online complaint form.

Other Educational Options

California Community Colleges:

California’s community colleges provide low-cost educational options through the public school system. Community colleges are part of California’s public higher-education system along with the University of California system and the California State University system. California has more than 100 community colleges offering a diverse selection of classes and educational programs. Students can take classes for personal growth, get professional training, or earn an Associate Degree. Community colleges also offer an affordable way to earn transferrable credits toward a four-year degree. More information is available on the California Community Colleges website, including information on how to pay for college:

California Adult Schools

Adult Schools also are part of California’s public school system and offer a variety of programs—for free or at low cost—to help students reach their educational, training, career, and personal goals. Students can get a high school diploma or a general education diploma (GED), learn about jobs and get job training, learn to speak English, learn basic skills (such as basic math, reading, spelling, and writing skills), and learn how to become a U.S. citizen. You can find information about Adult Schools at the website: including finding a school near you. More information is available on the California Department of Education’s Adult Education website: The California Department of Education also provides a directory of public adult schools, community colleges, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, library literacy programs, and county offices of education: