SAN ANTONIO -- Hopeful students arrived to class Tuesday only to find their school no longer exists. That was the case all over the country as ITT Technical Institute suddenly closed its doors.
Students in San Antonio came out in droves to ITT’s campus on the northwest side, many of whom didn’t even know the school had shut down.
"I came here to go to class and I'm just hearing that it closed down,” student Dwight Ware said.
As more confused students gathered, the parking lot turned into an impromptu meeting place, some students calling their professors and others searching online for more information.
Jennifer Raymond graduated recently but said she never picked up her transcript. She said she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to prove her education.
"Even though I do have a degree I have nothing to show,” said Raymond. “So if they ask for it what do I say? 'The school got shut down so, sorry?'"
This morning the for-profit college announced it was shutting down after being banned from enrolling new students who receive federal aid, a group that makes up the vast majority of their student body.
In a statement Tuesday morning, the Institute said they "exhausted the exploration of alternatives, including transfer of the schools to a non-profit or public institution."
Professor Chris Nguyen said he too was caught off guard by the announcement. Just Friday he received an email from the school's CEO wishing faculty a good Labor Day weekend and saying they were still looking into alternatives with the Department of Education.
"Actually I just spoke to a student who graduated,” said Nguyen. “He asked me if we're going to walk the stage and everything. I told him, 'honestly I don't know... I don't know.'"
ITT spokesperson Nicole Elam said via email they're communicating with students about transcripts and credit transfer, but didn't specify further.
The Department of Education did offer some details, saying students can apply to have their federal loans discharged or to have their credits transferred to another institution. That information is available on their official blog here.
The VA also released a statement saying students can no longer receive GI Bill benefits to ITT, and saying they don’t have the legal authority to restore any GI Bill benefits already used at ITT, even for those students who haven’t finished classes this term.
That’s exactly the situation for student Corey Hunter, a networking major who was supposed to graduate next year.
"All the money I put into this school will probably go into the toilet,” said Hunter. “I'm going to have to start somewhere fresh."
(© 2016 KENS)