Beauty school closes its doors without warning students

(WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — A beauty school with 79 locations around the country, including three in the Indianapolis area, shut its doors without warning Wednesday night.

The decision is impacting thousands of students.

Regency Beauty Institute announced Wednesday night that it was closed, effective immediately.

Some of the students were on their way to night class when the school posted on its website that it was closed.

Thursday, students had a two hour time window to pick up their supplies.

“We’re all here because this was a dream for us and we’re kind of sitting back like is it over just like that?” Student Mallorie Smith said.

Smith has been attending Regency Beauty Institute for almost a year and was just three weeks away from graduating.

“I cried so hard when I saw the website last night,” she said.

Just after six o’clock Wednesday night, the school posted an announcement to its website.

It reads in part: “It is with great sadness that we announce that after more than 50 years of educating cosmetology students, Regency Beauty Institute is permanently closing.”

The same message was sent via text message to students later in the night.

“I just looked at it, it felt like the whole world just fell out from under me,” Smith said.

Brian Brown’s daughter attends school with Smith and was set to graduate in January.

“We had to have a friend of ours come sit with her last night because she was so devastated when she got the news,” he said.

“For this to happen was a huge blow to everybody,” Smith said.

The school’s website said it will try to help students finish their education.

“They’re trying to get agreements with other schools, possibly like Paul Mitchell, where they’ll take us on as transfers,” Smith said, “But we’re still going to have to get more student loans for that because Regency has everything.”

Regency’s website recommends students talk with their loan officers regarding tuition and doesn’t mention any kind of refund.

That means students like Smith might not be able to finish their program, at least not on time.

“It kind of feels like was this all for nothing,” she said.

Regency Institute wrote on their website that the company didn’t have enough cash to keep operating.

The site puts some blame on government regulations.

WISH-TV tried calling Regency for comment, but no one answered the company phones.

Regency has three locations nearby in Avon, Greenwood and Castleton.