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Sector Snap: for-profit education companies

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of for-profit education companies traded mostly lower on Tuesday as Corinthian Colleges Inc. disclosed that it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Corinthian, which runs Everest, Heald and WyoTech colleges and offers online degrees, said in a regulatory filing that it received a subpoena from the SEC on June 6. The Santa Ana, Calif., company said that it was told it was under investigation in a letter that came with the subpoena.

Corinthian said that the subpoena requested documents and other materials related to student information in areas such as recruitment, attendance, completion, placement, defaults on federal loans and on alternative loans, as well as compliance with U.S. Department of Education financial requirements, standards and ratios, and other corporate, operational, financial and accounting matters.

Corinthian said it plans to cooperate with the SEC investigation.

The for-profit education industry enjoyed a big boom when the recession first hit, but student demand has faded. In addition, increased criticism of the schools and new federal regulations has weighed on enrollments.

Corinthian's stock declined 32 cents, or 11.5 percent, to $2.47 in afternoon trading. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $1.74 to $3.44.

Elsewhere in the sector:

— Apollo Group Inc. fell 25 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $21.99.

— DeVry Inc., down 78 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $30.21.

— Bridgepoint Education Inc., down 3 cents to $12.97.

— ITT Educational Services Inc., dropped 77 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $27.01.

— Strayer Education Inc., slipped $1.57, or 2.8 percent, to $55.22.

— Career Education Corp. fell 8 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $3.03.

— Lincoln Educational Services Corp. shed 6 cents to $6.96.

—American Public Education Inc. declined 16 cents to $39.64.