ITT Closure: What Happened and Why Students May Be at Risk for Potential Scams
In the aftermath of ITT Technical Institute’s sudden closure Tuesday, more than 35,000 displaced students are left scrambling to find options and recourse. In uncertain times, it’s easy to make hurried or rash decisions—especially if the end result appears to be favorable. Your BBB® wants to warn against some potential ways fraudsters could take advantage of those in the wake of this recent news as well as provide various, trusted resources. But first, let’s take a look at what led to the abrupt ITT closure.
While years of unsound financial and administrative decisions led to the tipping point for ITT, it was a series of recent actions taken by its accreditor—the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)—and the U.S. Department of Education that ultimately led to the college’s decision to close its doors for good.
According to the U.S. Secretary of Education, ITT was found to be both noncompliant and unlikely to become compliant with the ACICS Accreditation Criteria in August of this year. Shortly following that determination, the Department of Education “increased its financial oversight over ITT,” no longer allowing the college to enroll new students with federal aid. And because ITT is a for-profit college, a significant portion of its revenue comes from federal loans and grants students receive for tuition. So, the college choose to close; thus, leaving tens of thousands of students wondering what to do about their debt, their education and their future.
While this action hardly seems fair to those students working hard to earn a degree in a very competitive marketplace, the reality is they are left to pick up the pieces. But your BBB is here to assist in the difficult decisions facing many by helping safeguard against scammers and frauds that could further add to the stress during this time.