Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Contact: Sarah Schultz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-734-6510
ITT Technical Institute (ITT Tech) announced that it is closing all of its campuses in light of consumer protections implemented by the Department of Education prohibiting the institution from accessing federal financial aid programs when enrolling students. ITT Tech’s fraudulent and predatory business practices had resulted in lawsuits and investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 13 state Attorneys General. Rather than adjust their model to address the various problems reported by students across the country, ITT Tech decided to close. This decision will have a major impact on the approximately 40,000 students across the country currently enrolled at the chain of schools, who are now left to forge a new educational path, and make some difficult decisions whether to pursue discharge for their loans and restart their education, or to transfer their credits to a new school.
Christopher Nellum, Young Invincibles’ Policy Director, issued the following statement: “The actions by the Department were an important step toward holding predatory schools accountable and preventing them from irresponsibly using students’ and taxpayers’ money without providing quality educational programs. While the closure will prevent further enrollment in ITT Tech, it’s important to remember that dedicated students trying to complete their degrees now must navigate the shutdown. We must make sure that those students who have been poorly served by ITT Tech are not saddled with debt they cannot repay and are not halted in their goal of getting a postsecondary education.
We are pleased to see the Department of Education has outlined possible paths for students, and we encourage them to make the applications for closed school discharges and the information about possible credit transfers and other local institutional options more widely available. We also renew a call for Congress to pass legislation to reinstate each student’s Pell Grant eligibility and, if applicable, G.I. Bill eligibility in situations like this, so that students can get a truly clean slate. Finally, we hope that increased data and transparency in our higher education system will ensure students’ and taxpayers’ money is protected from unscrupulous actors in higher education.”