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Tuesday, May 21
The Indiana Daily Student


ITT Educational Services shuts down


Hoosier students around Indiana are being taken care of, despite ITT Technical Institute’s national shutdown.

Gov. Mike Pence has directed the Commission for Higher Education and Department of Workforce Development to work together to help now-displaced students move forward in their educational programs, according to a CHE press release published Tuesday.

ITT Educational Services Inc. closed its doors after the U.S. Department of Education took a series of actions to protect students and taxpayers by banning ITT from enrolling new students using federal financial aid funds.

The DOE placed conditions on ITT including enrollment restrictions, disclosures of the institute’s lack of accreditation with the department and informing the department of any significant financial or oversight events, including violations of existing loan agreements or financial losses within a set period of time.

ITT operates more than 130 campuses in 38 states and enrolls students in online programs nationwide. Last year, the institution reported almost $850 million in total revenue, roughly $589 million of which was sourced from federal aid dollars. The institution was the subject of multiple state and federal investigations, according to a DOE press release.

“When we allow institutions to participate in federal student aid programs, they are obligated to responsibly manage those funds,” said Ted Mitchell, 
U.S. under secretary of education, in the release. “More importantly, we trust they will act in good faith and in the best interests of students.”

Since these restrictions have been placed, ITT Tech announced the shutdown of all ITT Tech campuses last Tuesday. This leaves many students removed from their current educational program.

But these students aren’t alone. With Gov. Pence’s announcement, leaders from Ivy Tech Community College,

WGU Indiana, Indiana Wesleyan University, Harrison College and Oakland City University have put plans in place to protect the financial and academic welfare of the former ITT students.

IWU has had an established transfer plan for ITT students for the last thirty years. David Rose, vice president of enrollment and marketing at IWU, said the closure of ITT has resulted in raising the cap of the number of credits from 62 credits to 90 credits accepted. They also are offering a 10-percent tuition discount for students to recuperate.

“All the major academic institutions have encouraged us to help do what we can for students who are looking at this disruption in their education,” Rose said. “There are a number of students who anticipated graduation dates and plans to benefit their families that have now been disrupted in this closure.”

These universities also will have open houses for students to come face-to-face with counselors, receive next-step career advice and find programs similar to the degrees they were working toward before the ITT shutdown.

Jeffrey Fanter, senior vice president of Student Experience, Communications & Marketing at Ivy Tech Community College, said the college is planning on having open house events on multiple Ivy Tech campuses for ITT students to learn about their different options.

“We just started the outreach, but already we have seen a number of ITT students start communications with staff at our Ivy Tech campuses,” Fanter said. “In some cases Ivy Tech might not be their best option, but if not we want to help advise them of their various options, so these open house events will include other schools in addition to Ivy Tech.”

There are already open houses offered this month, the first from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 23 and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 24 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There is also one from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at Ivy Tech Indianapolis.

Deanna Bowman, assistant director for Corporate and Transfer Relationships at IWU, said face-to-face conversations at these open houses with college mentors and administrators will make students more comfortable moving forward in their educational paths.

“I don’t think there’s anything that fully replaces a face-to-face conversation with the people there to help you,” Bowman said. “They’re gonna come face-to-face with representatives and academic advisers who are there and focus on them to give a helping hand to take the steps they need.”

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