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For-profit college chain with two Minnesota campuses to close for good

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The students now studying at Sanford-Brown colleges, a for-profit higher education system with two campuses in Minnesota, will be the last to pass through the institution.

The parent company of the 14-campus college network, Career Education Corporation (CEC), announced this week that it's shutting down Sanford-Brown to remain competitive in what it calls a "difficult higher education marketplace."

The company says it will now focus its resources on its two universities – Colorado Technical University and American InterContinental University – which have campuses in Florida, Georgia, and Texas as well as an online presence.

It has also begun to sell off its other colleges.

The closure of Sanford-Brown won't happen all it once. CEC says it will "teach out" the institutions, which means it will stop enrollments and allow students to complete their studies as the campuses close gradually.

Sanford-Brown has locations in Mendota Heights and Brooklyn Center.

According to the Pioneer Press, the colleges are known for their radio broadcasting and graphic design programs.

For-profit colleges have been under fire and in trouble in Minnesota as of late. In March, Attorney General Lori Swanson accused two institutions of issuing thousands of unlicensed loans, some with "staggering" interest rates well above the legal limit.

Late last year, a Minnesota non-profit purchased Corinthian Colleges, a 56-campus chain with four campuses in the state. Corinthian had come under scrutiny following allegations that it had falsified job placement data and mislead students about the value of their degrees.

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