* Says to cut about 4 pct of workforce
* Sees Q3 student starts to fall 15-17 pct
* Says to hike tuition fees in Q3, Q4
* Job cuts to save about $60 mln annually
* Shares rise 3 pct before the bell
Corinthian Colleges (COCO.O) said it will cut about 4 percent of its workforce and increase tuition fees as it expects new student enrollment to fall further amid a tough regulatory environment.
Corinthian had about 16,800 employees in North America as of Sept. 30, 2010, according its website.
Corinthian, which has about 105,498 students enrolled across its colleges, expects student starts to fall 15-17 percent for the third quarter.
Second-quarter student starts fell 8 percent primarily due to its efforts to tighten enrollment practices.
Negative industry publicity and uncertainties in the regulatory environment also played a role in the decline, Corinthian CEO Jack Massimino said.
New student enrollment has been falling across for-profit colleges amid government scrutiny of the sector that has been criticised for leaving students with a lot of debt.
The industry, which grew rapidly during the recession when high unemployment rates prompted people to retrain themselves, faces tough new rules that threaten to slow growth.
Companies such as Corinthian have taken pro-active steps to regulate the quality of students they enroll, and have turned their back on those who do not have the ability to pay back debt.
Massimino, who took over as Corinthian's CEO towards the end of last year, said the workforce reduction will result in annual savings of about $60 million, and that the majority of people impacted by the layoff have already been notified.
Corinthian plans to implement a tuition price increase of about 12 percent in the third and fourth quarters of 2011 to be in compliance with 90/10 rule in fiscal 2012.
The for-profit education provider posted a net loss of $163.7 million, on revenue of $482.8 million, for the latest second quarter. [ID:nASA01H0R]
Excluding charges, Corinthian earned $19.1 million, or 23 cents a share.
Corinthian's shares rose 3 percent to $5.42 before the bell. (Reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)