GREENFIELD -- ITT Educational Services announced it is closing all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently, including campuses in the Milwaukee area. The federal government said the school does not meet accreditation standards, and said the school could not enroll new students who use federal financial aid. Students, left without a school on Tuesday, September 6th, one week before the semester was set to begin, were in disbelief.
Some students learned their school was closing when they received an email on Tuesday -- so they came to ITT Tech's campus in Greenfield, seeking answers. There, ITT officials blamed the federal government for the shutdown.
"The email stated that they came out a very difficult decision to close all campuses -- effective immediately," Corrine Nimmer said.
ITT Tech officials released a statement, which reads, in part:
"'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. We believe the government's action was inappropriate and unconstitutional."
That action the statement refers to was a significant cut in federal funding for the school. According to the federal government, the school didn't meet accreditation standards to get that aid.
School officials learned of the funding cut last week, and stopped enrolling students.
Students who came to campus Tuesday found the doors locked and Greenfield police on the property.
Nimmer told FOX6 News she just wants her transcripts.
"I'm without a school. I'm without 26 credits that I just finished off and now I have to start all over again. All over again. I deserve answers. I'm very frustrated," Nimmer said.
Other students want to know which credits will transfer to other schools.
Nimmer received no answers Tuesday. She was escorted off campus by Greenfield police who said they were called in by school administrators.
Nimmer has been through this before. She was enrolled in Brensten Education six months ago, when the school abruptly shut down.
Now, she's in the same spot again.
"Here I am, stuck getting enrolled into another school again to further my education, finish my education because of what I went through the last time," Nimmer said.
Students said the email they received indicated they'd be able to talk with staff about finances, credits and where to go from here Wednesday, September 7th from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. There were signs on the doors at the Greenfield campus Tuesday indicating that as well.
ITT Tech has been around for 50 years. About 40,000 students who were taking classes on campus and online are impacted by this situation, as are about 8,000 staff members who are without jobs.
Officials with the Education Advisory Board (EAB) said while they anticipated something like this happening with ITT Tech (ITT Tech has been on their 'watch list' for awhile now) they didn't expect it to happen so soon.
Officials say ITT was supposed to be discussed by the board next week after concerns over their accreditation status and enrollment eligibility continued.
The EAB is now working to get information out to ITT Tech students about what their options are. They are also exploring possible refunds and transfer opportunities.
EAB officials said anyone that attended or enrolled in ITT Tech over the past 120 days is eligible to have their student loans discharged.
We're told if the student has graduated, the degree still counts.
CLICK HERE for resources from the EAB.