TROY (WWJ/AP) – ITT Technical Institute is closing all of its campuses across the U.S., including five in Michigan, in the wake of harsh federal sanctions.
Last month, the US Department of Education banned ITT from enrolling new students who rely on federal aid. The school was also on the government’s radar for keeping a low amount of money in reserve.
“It is with profound regret that we must report that ITT Educational Services, Inc. will discontinue academic operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes permanently after approximately 50 years of continuous service,” the institute said in a statement. “The actions of and sanctions from the U.S. Department of Education have forced us to cease operations of the ITT Technical Institutes, and we will not be offering our September quarter. We reached this decision only after having exhausted the exploration of alternatives, including transfer of the schools to a non-profit or public institution.”
The closure will affect more than 8,000 employees and roughly 40,000 students.
ITT has five campuses in Michigan: Troy, Canton, Dearborn, Swartz Creek (Flint area) and Wyoming (Grand Rapids area).
ITT operates vocational schools at more than 130 campuses in 38 states, often under the ITT Technical Institute name. Last year, it enrolled 45,000 students and reported $850 million in revenue.
One of the biggest for-profit chains in the nation, ITT has been under increasing scrutiny from the education department following allegations of misconduct.
The Massachusetts attorney general sued the company in April, alleging that it misled students about the quality of its programs. The federal government had previously sued the chain, saying that it pushed students into high-cost private student loans knowing they would likely end in default.
Department officials have been closely monitoring ITT’s operations since 2014, when the chain was late to submit an annual report of its finances to the government.
Under President Barack Obama, the Education Department has led a crackdown on for-profit colleges that have misled students or failed to deliver the results they promised. In 2014, the department cut off federal aid to the Corinthian Colleges chain amid allegations of fraud, leading it to close or sell all of its schools.