One week after Chris Gonzales learned his graduation ceremony at ITT Tech in Tucson was canceled because the school closed he says he is still trying to figure out how to finish his degree.
“Right now I’m worried that I my get stuck with the charges and no degree to show for it,” said Gonzales.
To pay for his education Gonzales has used about $31,000 in federal subsidized and unsubsidized student loans as he pursued an Associate’s degree.
ITT closed after federal regulators prevented it from enrolling students using federal financial aid and tightening other regulations on the for-profit school citing concerns it was mismanaging money and had failed to comply with previous orders.
The school has called the steps “inappropriate” and “unconstitutional”.
ITT’s parent company is based in Indiana. That state's Higher Education Commissioner, Teresa Lubbers, said states must increase oversight on similar schools, “How can we do a better job of making sure this doesn't happen or we know earlier.”
ITT students can apply to have their federal student loans forgiven. Gonzales says he is willing to pay the loans if his can get his degree, but doesn’t know where his ITT credits will be accepted.
Pima Community College administrators tell KGUN9 the school can’t accept transfer credits from for-profit schools. A representative from the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education tells KGUN9 it’s up to individual institutions to make the decision on whether or not to accept ITT credits. The Department of Education says it is discussing with colleges and universities near closed ITT campuses the possibility of accepting ITT credits, but final decisions haven’t been made.
The state Board for Private Post-secondary Education is hosting an information session Thursday evening in Tempe at the University of Advancing Technology. If former ITT students in southern Arizona aren’t able to attend they can participate online by clicking on this link and filling out some basic personal information: https://join.me/techuniversity.
The Board says there may also be an in-person information session in Tucson scheduled in the coming days.