ITT Technical Institute, one of the largest for-profit college companies in the country, on Tuesday announced it was immediately closing all of its 130 U.S. college campuses, saying it cannot survive recent sanctions by the Department of Education.
by Anna Giaritelli
(Washington Examiner) – The college’s Indiana parent company, ITT Educational Services, told its 35,000 students the fall term has been canceled. About 8,000 faculty and staff jobs were immediately cut as well.
Two weeks ago, the Education Department deemed the for-profit institute a risk to students and taxpayers, and banned the company from accepting new students who rely on federal aid. The federal government said the school pushed students into risky loans and over-sensationalized the quality of the school’s educational programs. Education officials began monitoring the institution in 2014 after it was late submitting its annual financial report.
ITT Educational Services CEO Kevin Modany told reporters his organization was the victim of a “regulatory assault” and was never given the opportunity to defend itself, the Associated Press reported.
“For what appears to be political reasons, there seemed to be an outcome in mind that was going to be forced here,” Modany said.
Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell said ITT Tech was given multiple chances to defend itself over the years and knew being forced to close was possible.
ITT Tech, which was established in 1969 and has campuses in 38 states, has been ordered to pay $152 million over 30 days to cover student refunds and other liabilities. A couple hundred employees will assist students with transferring to other schools and closing out their accounts.
The government is allowing students who had enrolled in ITT Tech within the past 120 days to forfeit their student loans — about $500 million, which would be paid by taxpayers if students do not cancel them.