For-profit college behemoth Corinthian Colleges, Inc. shocked students and news outlets with the announcement on Sunday that it would be closing its remaining campuses for good.
The decision will affect 16,000 students currently enrolled in Corinthian schools who, halfway through their current semesters, need to figure out where to turn to continue their educations.
Heald College student Ashton Harris was one such student particularly caught off guard by the announcement.
“What we were being told was even if Corinthian closed down, we’d at least be able to finish out the quarter we were in,” Harris told Business Insider.
That turned out not to be the case.
Harris is now deeply worried about his next steps, a concern further compounded by the fact that Harris is an Army veteran using the GI Bill to pay for his education and living expenses.
He has done two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, the most recent of which ended in 2011. He decided to attend Heald College to pursue a dream of getting a degree in network administration.
He started on an associates degree in network administration that he just completed in January 2015. At that point, he had started towards a second associates degree in business administration, which he was working towards when the college announced its closure.
The GI Bill provides Harris with a monthly allowance for housing (MHA), contingent that he is enrolled full-time in school. He uses that money to pay for basic living expenses and works a second job to supplement any other emergency expenses that may arise.
“I need that to pay my car payments, my rent, my groceries,” Harris said about the MHA.
Harris explained that he has already been looking to find another school that he could transfer to and continue his studies. The problem, he says, is that now almost in May, the registration period for most schools is already over.
And he worries about how the closure of Heald will impact his long-term goal of completing a bachelors degree in network administration or computer science.
For now, he is waiting for the Heald College administration at the Honolulu campus to provide additional information and advice to students.
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