ITT Technical Institute, a school with over 40,000 active students, is officially closing all of its campuses after federal sanctions against the for-profit college. They announced in a statement:
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“It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after approximately 50 years of continuous service. With what we believe is a complete disregard by the U.S. Department of Education for due process to the company, hundreds of thousands of current students and alumni and more than 8,000 employees will be negatively affected.”
The announcement came one week after the college stopped enrolling students. ITT Tech, along with other for-profit schools, has been criticized for accepting billions of dollars worth of government grants and loans while not doing a good enough job training students. Last year, ITT Tech alone received $580 million in taxpayer dollars.
So it took a little under seven days for them to shut down once they learned they wouldn't get financial aid. This should show you the truth behind these for-profit colleges: they go after people who they know can't afford it and don't understand the seriousness of a college loan. These students are less likely to finish school and are more likely to live in poverty.
Students and faculty felt like they were left out of the loop thanks to the Labor Day holiday.
“Labor Day gives us a time to pause and spend time with our family,” said ITT Tech CEO Kevin Modany an internal email sent on Friday. “As we close out the end of our June quarter, we’d like to extend that time by giving all employees Tuesday, September 6th off as an extra comp holiday.”
In that same email, they did hint that the demise could happen quickly. “As you may know, we have contacted the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to request their consideration of possible alternatives to ED’s additional requirements,” he said. “However, we cannot provide any assurance that the ED will respond to our requests in a favorable manner. There is a possibility that we could hear something at any time. As such, we ask that you check your email regularly for updates. If you do not have access to email, please check with your Supervisor.”
Needless to say, the email confused more students and employees than it helped.
Gizmodo heard from students who were scared about the closing would mean. They received emails like the following:
"I am a current student at ITT. Went to campus today to study and was kicked out. The dean stated they were closing campus early for the holiday. I sat in the parking lot and watched staff go in and clear out personal affects. Boxes, shopping bags full of things. One instructor brought lunch to campus and several people just left upset. Word is some people were let go to save money towards the 100 million the school has to put in escrow to stay open, other rumor is its prep for the shut down. Not sure what’s happening and have tried calling the CEO of corporate to get answers because I am one of several students that are suppose to graduate 9/29. Scared to death we won’t get to before graduation."
Thankfully, the Department of Education is providing resources to students in a blog post.