October 22, 2016
The sudden, unannounced, and unexpected shutdown of all 130 campuses for ITT For-profit schools has wrecked devastation, frustration, and sadness in more than 35,000 students, some of which were on track for a nursing career.
Most of the affected nursing student population has chosen this particular field as a way of supporting their families. Others were nurses set-out to finish a higher nursing degree. Whatever the various reasons for enrolling in ITT, what they are left holding right now is a huge student loan debt with no degree in sight.
What led to the shutdown of ITT Schools?
The government’s move of cutting off federal funds to help new students last week led to the shutdown of ITT schools. It is commonly known that for-profit schools like ITT bank heavily on loans and grants from the government, which, without it, would lead them to close their doors. As a consequence, 8,000 people working for the institution became instantly unemployed and many more are left without the education they set their hearts on.
What made the federal government cut off study grants to ITT?While the shutdown came as a stunning surprise to both old and new students, numerous evidence over the years regarding the practices of ITT were a concern. The Department of Education, in particular, has seen the risk of the school’s loss of accreditation with their intent to defraud students, taxpayers, and investors alike. Numerous lawsuits from state attorneys, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed against ITT should have been the writing on the wall for the for-profit school to change their practices.
The chief concern was the fact that no support services to help students become successful have ever been in place since ITT’s inception. This was readily seen during graduation in 2014 where the total graduates for for-profit was a mere 27% compared to other institutions that had 60% success rate. This poor show of graduates naturally follows that students who failed to get their degrees will most likely fail to pay off their student loans as well.
With this scenario, what’s in store for would-be nurses?
New students may stand to gain from the actions taken by the government with regard to protecting them against fraud from for-profit schools. However, it is a bleaker picture for those who have started steps towards earning a nursing degree. Years of sacrifice in terms of work, relationships, and money all go down the drain which may never be recovered. Even worse are the ones that were looking forward to graduation this year.
Two choices are given to those affected by the ITT shut-down: continue schooling in other schools where credits earned from ITT will never be recognized or quit altogether and have student loans wiped off. Looking at both options leaves students no advantage whatsoever. Either choice pushes them further away from their goal of being nurses.
Let this be a warning to others who may consider pursuing education at a for-profit institution.