News that ITT Technical Institute will close its doors shuts out nearly 35,000 students by some accounts, many of whom have taken on large student debt to obtain a degree from ITT. ITT shut down because it came under pressure from the US government, which put it on warning and under tight restrictions about enrolling new students using government-backed student loans, ultimately banning that practice in August. The for-profit college chain felt it couldn’t make a profit under the new restrictions and announced its closing just a week before the fall semester was due to start on September 12.
The Department of Education addressed the students directly in a letter from Secretary John B. King, Jr. He told current ITT students that “you may be eligible to have your federal student loans for your program at ITT discharged. Your federal loan debt will be wiped away and you will have the option of restarting your education somewhere new.” The Department of Education ran a webinar about the closings on Wednesday. Other good news for those who were close to a degree is that the credits already paid for may have value at another school. “If you wish to continue and complete your program at a different school – especially if you are close to graduating – you may be able to transfer your credits,” Secretary King wrote.