ITT Technical Educational Services, Inc. abruptly announced that it will cease operations at all campuses.
The announcement, which affects 40,000 students and 8,000 employees, is one of the largest college closures in US history.
Ben Miller, a senior director at the Center for American Progress and a former senior policy advisor at the Department of Education (ED), called the closure “long overdue,” and described an institution whose concern over growth and profit trumped a quality education for students.
“The reason why this action took down ITT was because of choices repeatedly made by management for years that weakened the school, harmed students, and ultimately tarnished a brand that used to have value,” Miller told Business Insider.
ITT, however, blamed The Department of Education (ED) for forcing its hand.
“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,” ITT wrote in a statement on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s announcement that ITT Tech will close came a week and a half after the ED imposed sanctions on ITT Education Services which barred the school from enrolling students who use federal financial aid and
required ITT post a $153 million letter of credit, on top of the $94 million reserve requirements it must already meet.
Shortly after, ITT announced it wouldn’t accept new enrollments at all. The ED’s sanctions struck such a blow to ITT Tech because, like most for-profit colleges, it’s highly dependent on federal aid.
ITT’s closure comes about a year after another for-profit college behemoth, Corinthian Colleges, shuttered doors on its California campuses, affecting 16,000 students.
Corinthian, however, was able to sell its campuses in other states to nonprofit school, which allowed a majority of students to continue working toward their degrees.
ITT Tech, however, won’t be selling the school to another institution, according to a statement.
“We reached this decision only after having exhausted the exploration of alternatives, including transfer of the schools to a non-profit or public institution,” it read.