ITT shuts down, leaving tens of thousands of students in the lurch

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. -- ITT Technical Institutes in National City and Vista are among the campuses permanently shuttered following a ruling barring the for-profit college from accepting new students who receive federal financial aid.

Following a lengthy investigation, the U.S. Department of Education determined ITT Tech's parent company, Indiana-based ITT Educational Services Inc., was not in compliance with criteria set by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.

In addition to the financial aid sanction, the federal agency planned to ramp up its oversight of the college's finances due to "significant concerns'' about its administrative capacity, organizational integrity, financial viability and  ability to serve students.

"Our responsibility is first and foremost to protect students and taxpayers,'' U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said. "Looking at all of the risk factors, it's clear that we need increased financial protection and that it simply would not be responsible or in the best interest of students to allow ITT to continue enrolling new students who rely on federal student aid funds.''

ITT Educational Services Inc. officials said the Department of Education's sanctions forced them to cease operations and cancel trade school classes for the September quarter. The company has also fired most of its employees, excluding those kept on to assist students with obtaining their records and assessing their educational options.

"It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after approximately 50 years of continuous service,'' according to a company statement. "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.''

Officials with ITT Educational Services said the government actions affecting its estimated 140 ITT Technical Institutes in 35 states were "inappropriate and unconstitutional.'' The ruling came down without a hearing, and the company was not allowed to appeal it.

ITT Tech students already enrolled in classes can continue to apply for federal financial aid to finish their coursework elsewhere, and may be eligible for a federal loan discharge, according to the Department of Education.

Coleman University announced Tuesday that it will accept students currently enrolled in four programs at ITT's School of Information Technology in National City and Vista, regardless of the length of time they have been in their degree programs.

Each student’s situation is unique.   Coleman has developed transfer guides that map ITT Tech units into Coleman units.  Students from ITT Tech are encouraged to contact a Coleman Admissions Officer at 858-499-0202 or Admissions@coleman.edu to discuss their transfer options.

The San Diego Community College District released a statement that said its staff is exploring how the SDCCD might be able to help ITT Tech students.

"For some local ITT students, continuing their education at City, Mesa or Miramar college may be a good option -- but these students may face some challenges transferring their coursework,'' the statement says. "Since ITT Tech was not regionally accredited, students seeking to transfer credits may need to pursue credit by examination.''

The district said it welcomed inquiries from ITT Tech students because it offers similar programs in career technical fields.

A letter sent by ITT to a students answers questions about the shutdown:

Important Information for You Going Forward

Please be assured that we are committed to keeping you informed about the impact on you of the closure of your school.

To that end, below is some key information to answer, what we imagine are, some of your immediate questions:

How do I see my grades?

You may access your academic record via the Student Portal by clicking this link.  Please use your student email and network password to login.  We expect to have all grades for the June 2016 quarter updated by Friday, September 9th.

How do I obtain a copy of my official transcript?

You may request a copy of your official transcript via the Student Portal by clicking this link.  Please use your student email and network password to login.  Graduates may also request an official transcript via the Alumni website by clicking this link.

Will my credits transfer to another institution?

As always, the decision to accept transfer credits is up to the receiving institution.  You may view a list of other schools that have entered into articulation agreements with the ITT Technical Institutes at http://www.itt-tech.edu/articulation.  Additionally, we have compiled a list of schools in your area that offer similar programs of study, as well as some institutions offering similar programs online, which you may want to contact.  See the following question for a list of schools.

Are there any schools in my area with similar programs of study?

Click here to download a list of schools in your area with programs of study similar to those offered by your school, as well as some institutions offering similar programs online.

When is the last day my campus will be open?

While your campus will be closing immediately at the end of the June quarter, we will continue to provide resources to assist you in obtaining your transcript and other records.  Please check the Student Portal by clicking this link for updated information from us about the issues covered in this notice and other important matters.  In the near term, you may also email StudentQuestions@itt-tech.edu with questions.

In the future, after the Student Portal is no longer accessible, how do I obtain a copy of my records?

After your campus has closed and the Student Portal is no longer accessible, you will be able to obtain your records and other key contact information at http://www.itt-tech.edu.  This site will house links to request your transcript, education verification, and other information.

Will I have to repay my student loans?

It may be possible for you to discharge your federal student loans and not have to repay them under certain circumstances.  For more information about this, please click here.

For additional information on student financial aid and other options available, please also see information provided by the U.S. Department of Education available by clicking here and here.

For additional information on GI Bill benefits, please contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 or visit the GI Bill website by clicking here.

Please know we are extremely disappointed to have to discontinue our operations after more than 50 years of serving students.

We want to thank all of the men and women who have diligently served you throughout your studies at ITT Technical Institute.  We, and they, apologize for this unexpected disruption to your education and we sincerely wish you the best as you move forward.