EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (KMSP) - ITT Technical Institute is closing all of its campuses and shutting down operations, less than two weeks after the company was banned from enrolling new students using federal aid funds.
ITT operates 130 campuses in 38 states, including Minnesota campuses in Brooklyn Center and Eden Prairie. The school also enrolls students in online programs. Last year, ITT reported almost $850 million in total revenue, with $580 million coming from federal aid.
“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,” the company said in a 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.”
What if I'm a student?
While ITT Tech will be contacting students to inform them of their options, the U.S. Department of Education will be directly contacting via email currently and recently enrolled students to inform them of ITT’s closure and the options available to them. The Department of Education has established a website with information on how former ITT students can continue their education, apply for closed school loan discharges, retrieve student records, and more.
Dept. of Education restrictions on ITT (Aug. 25)
A letter sent to ITT by the Department of Education banned the school from participating in Title IV, except under the following conditions:
Enrollment restrictions: ITT may no longer enroll new students who rely on federal financial aid dollars for educational expenses;
Disclosures to Students: ED is requiring ITT to inform current students that its accreditor has found that the institution is not in compliance, and is unlikely to become in compliance with its Accreditation Criteria;
Compensation and Payment Limitations: ITT is prohibited from awarding raises, paying bonuses or making retention or severance payments to its executives or to paying special dividends or out of the ordinary expenditures without department approval;
Notification of Financial Events requirements: ITT must inform the Department of any significant financial or oversight events including violations of existing loan agreements or extraordinary financial losses within ten days of such events; and
Title IV payment method requirements (Heightened Cash Monitoring 2): ITT is required to use its own funds to initially cover Title IV aid disbursements for current students. The Department will reimburse funds to ITT after aid is disbursed to students.
Full statement from ITT
"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. 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.
The actions of and sanctions from the U.S. Department of Education have forced us to cease operations of the ITT Technical Institutes, and we will not be offering our September quarter. We reached this decision only after having exhausted the exploration of alternatives, including transfer of the schools to a non-profit or public institution.
Effective today, the company has eliminated the positions of the overwhelming majority of our more than 8,000 employees. Our focus and priority with our remaining staff is on helping the tens of thousands of unexpectedly displaced students with their records and future educational options.
This action of our federal regulator to increase our surety requirement to 40 percent of our Title IV federal funding and place our schools under "Heightened Cash Monitoring Level 2," forced us to conclude that we can no longer continue to operate our ITT Tech campuses and provide our students with the quality education they expect and deserve.
For more than half a century, ITT Tech has helped hundreds of thousands of non-traditional and underserved students improve their lives through career-focused technical education. Thousands of employers have relied on our institutions for skilled workers in high-demand fields. We have been a mainstay in more than 130 communities that we served nationwide, as well as an engine of economic activity and a positive innovator in the higher-education sector.
This federal action will also disrupt the lives of thousands of hardworking ITT Tech employees and their families. More than 8,000 ITT Tech employees are now without a job – employees who exhibited the utmost dedication in serving our students.
We have always carefully managed expenses to align with our enrollments. We had no intention prior to the receipt of the most recent sanctions of closing down despite the challenging regulatory environment that now threatens all proprietary higher education. We have also always worked tirelessly to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and to uphold our ethic of continuous improvement. When we have received inquiries from regulators, we have always been responsive and cooperative. Despite our ongoing service to this nation's employers, local communities and underserved students, these federal actions will result in the closure of the ITT Technical Institutes without any opportunity to pursue our right to due process.
These unwarranted actions, taken without proving a single allegation, are a "lawless execution," as noted by a recent editorial in The Wall Street Journal. We were not provided with a hearing or an appeal. Alternatives that we strongly believe would have better served students, employees, and taxpayers were rejected. The damage done to our students and employees, as well as to our shareholders and the American taxpayers, is irrevocable.
We believe the government's action was inappropriate and unconstitutional, however, with the ITT Technical Institutes ceasing operations, it will now likely rest on other parties to understand these reprehensible actions and to take action to attempt to prevent this from happening again."