An ITT Technical Institute campus in Canton, Michigan. | Wikipedia
Monday, September 12, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
ITT Technical Institute, the for-profit college that operates more than 130 campuses across the country, four of them in Illinois — Arlington Heights, Oak Brook, Orland Park and Springfield — announced last week that it would “cease operations” after the federal government denied federal financial aid for its new students.
The closure, however, may be an opportunity for other colleges and universities to reach out to some of the roughly 40,000 ITT students who may now be looking for somewhere else to enroll this fall.
Triton College in River Grove released a Sept. 12 statement inviting former ITT students “to attend a special information session and get back on their path to academic success.”
“Triton’s Admissions staff has set up a series of information sessions exclusively for ITT students that will allow them to learn more about our degree/certificate programs, explore education options, and look at potential options for transfer,” the statement notes.
“Attendees will also be guided through our easy registration process and assisted with crafting a plan to pay for their education by matching them with any of the dozens of available scholarships or financial aid options for which they qualify.”
The federal government made its decision to deny aid to ITT’s new students because of numerous concerns about the college’s organization and financial viability.
In a recent blog post, the U.S. Secretary of Education John King wrote that ITT “has increasingly been the subject of numerous state and federal investigations. In August, ITT’s accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) determined that ITT ‘is not in compliance, and is unlikely to become in compliance with [ACICS] Accreditation Criteria.’
“This came amid increasingly heightened financial oversight measures put in place by the Department over the past two years due to significant concerns about ITT’s administrative capacity, organizational integrity, financial viability, and ability to serve students.”
In a Sept. 6 release, ITT called the Department of Education’s decision “a complete disregard” for “due process to the company, hundreds of thousands of current students and alumni and more than 8,000 employees will be negatively affected.”
King noted that displaced ITT students have two “basic options”:
- “If you are currently or were recently enrolled at ITT, 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. We will post and update information about how to receive a discharge at our ITT announcements page.
- “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. It is important to note that transferring your credits may limit your ability to have your federal loans discharged. Closed school discharge may be an option if you enroll in a different program that does not accept your ITT credits.”
And within the last three days, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has called for community colleges like Triton to assist displaced ITT students.
Triton’s information sessions are scheduled on the following dates and will be held in Room B-130 of the Triton College Student Center, located on the west side of campus, 2000 Fifth Ave., River Grove:
- Session 1 – Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6-8 p.m.
- Session 2 – Thursday, Sept. 15, 1-3 p.m.
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