FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Devastated ITT technical institute students are seeking answers, Tuesday, after the school shut down unexpectedly.
This follows the Department of Education's decision to ban ITT from enrolling new students using financial aid. The for-profit college sent out an email Tuesday morning, stating the following:
"We have made the very difficult decision to discontinue our operations effective immediately at the end of the June 2016 quarter and to cancel the upcoming September quarter that was scheduled to begin Monday September 12."
Maria Hernandez and three other nursing students at ITT spoke with Fox 4 and described their last two years in the program as a struggle, waking up for 5 AM clinicals and enduring sleepless nights of studying, all for their degree to be ripped away 70 days before graduation. "We struggled very hard, putting our families aside, our lives aside, to just get an email this morning, not even a phone call. Just an email saying the school is closed," said Hernandez.
The U.S. Department of Education said in a statement that ITT was not complying with accreditation standards. Now students can either dismiss their loans, not pay them back and start their education all over again, or try to find a school that will accept their credits.
Students in front of the school said they feel betrayed. "They should have had some kind of option for us, especially if they knew this was coming because this didn't happen overnight," said Hernandez.
Not only are students suffering because of the situation, but thousands of teachers nationwide have been let go.