NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - After ITT Technical Institute closed its doors all 130 campuses, including in North Charleston, students are looking for answers.
"I just finished my first full year and working hard getting a 4.0 doing the best I can and now it may be all down the drain," Electrical Engineering student Andrew Ballard said.
The college chain closed announced it would close all its doors on Tuesday.
This company said they came to the decision after Education Department officials said the company had become a risk to taxpayers and students. The department also ordered ITT to pay $152 million within 30 days to cover student refunds and other liabilities if the chain closed.
The offices in North Charleston are locked and students said they haven't been able to get ahold of anyone in the office, leaving them with unresolved questions regarding their gr ants and loans.
"I don't even know who to contact to know what's going on cause they're closed," Leon Ragland said.
Ragland had just left the college, but is unsure what to do about his loans and gr ants.
ITT's accreditor reported the chain had failed to meet several basic standards and was unlikely to comply in the future. It had also been investigated by state and federal authorities who accused ITT of pushing students into risky loans and of misleading students about the programs.
Andrew Ballard was also a student at ITT Technical College and said he didn't know it was closing until he showed up for class. Now he doesn't know where to enroll.
"The semester just started two weeks ago at Trident so I'm already too late to get in now so just waiting trying to figure out what to do next," Ballard said.
He said this is more than just trying to figure out where to go next.
"Just trying to provide a better life for my kids and I have twin daughters and they're five and you know I'm working and going to school and taking care of them. It's a lot and I was making it work for now but we'll see if I can continue to make it work," Ballard said.
The SC Commission on Higher Education said students recently enrolled at ITT could be eligible for a closed school loan discharge.
That would require ITT to pay the commission at its closure. The money would be used to benefit subtends who suffer financial losses of tuition and fees paid to the institution. The funds would provide a partial refund.
Here are some links for people looking to learn more:
The U.S. Department of Education has posted an update to its blog regarding actions taken against ITT, which includes FAQs:
You may also find information on the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website:
In addition, ITT's accrediting body, ACICS, has posted information on its website:
The Department of Veterans Affairs has posted information regarding ITT on its website:
Students who were using veteran's benefits to attend ITT may call 1-888-442-4551 or 1-800-827-1000.