INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Attorneys for ITT Tech informed the state’s board of nursing that the now-shuttered for-profit college plans to file for bankruptcy.
Mike Minglin, general counsel for Indiana’s board of nursing, told I-Team 8 that attorneys for the school informed the state during a conference call Wednesday night. A spokeswoman for the law firm that represents ITT Tech, Faegre Baker Daniels, declined to comment.
“It appears according their attorneys in the next day or two – they may be filing bankruptcy,” Minglin told I-Team 8. “So any arrangements that have been made to date will likely change once the bankruptcy trustee gets appointed.”
Fortune Magazine, citing a source familiar with the situation, also reported that the for-profit school was preparing to file for bankruptcy.
News of a potential bankruptcy raises new concerns among state officials and students about what might happen to former ITT Tech students, especially nursing students, who are scrambling to figure out what schools will accept their credits, if their student loan debts will be forgiven and when they’ll be able to access their transcripts.
The Carmel-based ITT Tech announced last week that it was closing its campuses nationwide, citing an inability to comply with federal regulations by the U.S. Department of Education.
More than a dozen ITT nursing students drove two hours Thursday to attend the state’s board of nurse meeting. They were hoping to gain some insight from the board about what schools might accept their credits.
“It’s very frustrating and devastating, I can’t begin to put into words how awful this is,” said Shannah Markley, an ITT nursing student who says she is 12 weeks out from finishing her nursing degree. “Actual words (from the state) ‘We don’t know,’ that’s scary coming from the Indiana board of nursing. They don’t know. That’s everyone else’s future.”
Minglin said that the board is willing to help students but that there are a lot questions on if the students’ transcripts will be accessible if the college’s assets are frozen and taken over by a trustee.
“A lot of those questions are unanswered because we don’t know how soon we will be able to access their records,” he said.
Students interviewed by I-Team 8 say they are concerned they may have to eat their current debt and start over because their nursing credits won’t transfer to another institution.
“We feel like it’s just us. It’s not a good feeling. It’s not a pleasant feeling,” said Malorie Thompson, who said she was set to graduate in December.
Minglin said: “We don’t know the answer to that question, we hope that is not the case . The Indiana state board of nursing working with the state commission on higher education will do everything we can within our statutory authority to help the students get their records.”
An email to an ITT Tech spokeswoman was kicked back to a reporter, stating that she is no longer an employee.
Minglin said that most of the employees have been let go.
Emails provided to I-Team 8 indicate that ITT Tech is also no longer helping its students access their records.
Here is the email we obtained:
On August 25, 2016, without previous notice, the U.S. Department of Education imposed a series of new requirements and conditions on the ITT Technical Institutes, including imposing conditions on our institutions’ continued participation in the federal student financial aid programs that the Department of Education administers. We proposed alternatives to the Department of Education, including teaching out our students or giving us time to sell our schools to another company that would continue your education, but our alternatives were rejected. Therefore, after evaluating the impact of these new requirements on our institutions, we made the very difficult decision on September 6, 2016, to close our ITT Technical Institute campuses at the end of the June 2016 quarter.
For more information, click here to read the Communication Notice sent to students via email and posted on the internal student portal on September 6, 2016.
Since closing our ITT Technical Institute campuses on September 6, 2016, we continued to provide support services to assist students. Specifically, we retained personnel at a centralized office to respond to student emails and phone calls, update our www.itt-tech.edu website, send regular communication to students and alumni, and gather records. However, as a direct result of the actions taken by the U.S. Department of Education and our lender to cease operations and permanently close the business, we will no longer be providing these support services effective today.
Below is key contact information to assist you as you move forward:
- Visit www.itt-tech.edu: Here you will find information, such how to request your transcript and download a list of schools in your area with programs of study similar to those offered by your school, or view a list of schools that ITT Technical Institute has articulation agreements with to help provide you with an opportunity to complete your program of study.
- For information on student financial aid and other options, please contact the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID or visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/itt.
- For information on GI Bill benefits and remaining entitlement, please contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 or visit http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/.
Please know we are extremely disappointed to have to discontinue our operations after more than 50 years of serving students.
We want to thank all of the men and women that have diligently served you throughout your studies at ITT Technical Institute. We, and they, apologize for this disruption to your education that we diligently worked to avoid and we sincerely wish you the best as you move forward.
ITT Technical Institute
The students told I-Team 8 that they left Thursday meeting feeling increasingly frustrated and still searching for answers.
“I am very upset. I was crying in there. I don’t know what to say I have no words for them,” Markley said.