- Views & Opinions
The shutdown of ITT Technical Institute’s 130 campuses has left former students at the for-profit college’s Madison campus in educational limbo.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports students’ questions about whether, or how, to continue their education still linger since the Sept. 7 announcement that it was closing.
In August, the U.S. Department of Education barred ITT from enrolling new students who used federal financial aid, saying the company had become a risk to students and taxpayers. ITT blamed the closure in part on that action.
Over 40 students were enrolled at the Madison campus. Another 250 were at a campus in Greenfield.
Those who took out loans to pay tuition can apply for a loan discharge from the federal government, but the move will also require them to forfeit their class credits.
Students’ other option is to keep their loans and credits and try transferring to another college.
Chris Crandall was only six credits away from graduation when ITT closed its doors.
“Infuriated,” Crandall says when he recalls the day he found out about the closure. “Then all the worries came through: Are my credits going to transfer? Where am I going to go from here? Am I going to be starting all over again?”
Keith Cornille, Madison Area Technical College’s senior vice president for student development and success, said students need only provide the college with their transcript to get the process started. She was surprised by the difficulty Crandall faced.
“We’re here to support any of those students and answer their questions … whether (they are from) ITT or any other institution,” Cornille said. Three former ITT students have enrolled at MATC so far, he said.
Although state regulators have sought to provide students with information about their options, several said their former school has not been helpful.
“ITT, in my eyes, is not helping anybody,” said Jerry Field, a student from Watertown who, like several others, said his calls and emails to the college haven’t been returned. “It’s like all the faculty and the school itself disappeared overnight.”