KUSA - More than 40,000 college students across the country are now without a school as ITT Technical Institutes shut down all of its campuses including two in Colorado.
The for-profit school was the subject of state and federal investigations focusing on its recruiting and accounting practices. The U.S. Department of Education banned the college chain from enrolling new students who use federal financial aid.
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools sent a letter to ITT Tech in April calling into question the "administrative capacity, organizational integrity, financial viability and ability to serve students in a manner that complies with ACICS standards," according to the Federal Student Aid website.
The Aurora and Westminster college locations were empty Tuesday shortly after the company said it would cease operations.
"I was hoping to start school this coming Monday," Marshall Allmond said.
The Army veteran planned to use his G.I. bill to get an associate’s degree in information technology at the Aurora campus, but days before starting, the school shut down.
No employees were at the campus located in an office building at 14001 E. Iliff.
"I have to change my plans, you know, it's all right. I can adapt and move forward from this but I really would wish that schools like this would stay open," Allmond said.
He didn't lose any money, but other students are worried about their student debt with no chance of a degree from ITT Tech.
"I have about $25,000 in student loans from the school," student Thomas Westbrook said.
He was just months away from graduating from the Westminster campus. He received an email early Tuesday morning letting him know he wouldn't finish his last two quarters there.
"We have made a very difficult decision to discontinue our operation effective immediately," Westbrook read from the email.
Just like the Aurora campus, the building was empty and no one was available to answer his questions.
Westbook said faculty and staff used to be helpful.
"But there were just other things that just started getting fishy over the last few months. Them not accepting students all of a sudden, them saying they're going to move. Now they closed," he explained.
He hoped to earn his degree in cyber security and get a job at Lockheed Martin.
"That was my goal and one of my dreams," Westbrook said.
Now those dreams are on hold until he finds out if he can transfer to another school or start all over again.
The U.S. Secretary of Education outlined two steps ITT Tech students with federal loans can take. Either get the loan debt wiped away and restart your education somewhere else or continue at a different school if those credits transfer.
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