OXNARD, Calif. - ITT Technical Institute is permanently closing its more than 130 campuses across the U.S., including its campus on Solar Drive in Oxnard.
The sudden announcement is leaving an estimated 8,000 ITT Tech employees without jobs andand impacting more than 35,000 students who are currently enrolled in classes at the institute. One of those students is Linda Rose Bassett of Oxnard.
"I am shocked because they keep us informed. It is sad, because some of us, this is our lives," said Bassett.
She has been taking classes at the Oxnard location since March. She says she had no idea the school closing was even a possibility for anytime in the near future.
"We were told by the director that it is not going to affect us for at least 6 months, or maybe a year," said Bassett.
ITT Technical Institute blames the government for the closure. Just last month, the U.S. Department of Education stopped ITT Tech from enrolling new students who receive federal aid. The government's reasoning is that ITT Tech failed to properly get accredited by a government-recognized accrediting agency. ITT Tech said in a statement that the loss of federal aid left it no other option but to immediately close its doors after more than 50 years in business.
As for the students ITT Tech left behind, they are left with student loans and credits that most likely will not transfer.
"We strive for grades, we strive to learn and we strive to be here, and for it to be closing it puts us in a position of (having to figure out what to do with) student loans, FAFSA, and responsibilities we are striving for and wow, this is sad," said Bassett.
There are some options available for students. Current students or those who had withdrawn in the past 120 days can apply to have their federal loans wiped away. You can find more information on how to do that on ITT Tech's website. Unfortunately, there is no relief for students with private loans or whose parents borrowed from the government with a Parent PLUS loan.