The for-profit ITT Technical Institute has been effectively shut down by the US government. Thousands of students are angry, but they may be getting their educational loan debt forgiven, given the circumstances. This is an example of government doing something right, acting in the interest of education and financial risk. It’s also a reminder of why students need to steer clear of degree mills and scam schools that are nothing more than a for-profit business posing as an academic institution.
ITT is finally shutting down, no surprise to academia. After several sanctions, the US government finally banned ITT from enrolling further students as of August 25, 2016, citing risk to students and taxpayers. The for-profit school was also ordered to pay $152 million towards student refunds and liabilities, which effectively ends their operation. Many state that this is an instance where the government got it right because this was a large scam operation that relied heavily on federal student aid. This action will result in displacement of 30,000 students and about 8,000 employees. Students were encouraged to contact the Education Department regarding possible refund information and closure updates. Unfortunately, there’s no telling whether any already earned credits will transfer elsewhere (probably not).
ITT even listed the fact that student transcripts were basically worthless, stating “it is unlikely that any credits earned at an ITT Technical Institute will be transferable to or accepted by any institution other than an ITT Technical Institute.” Once students saw this, they should have ran away.
Incredibly, ITT was able to scam people out of an average tuition of $45,000-85,000, annually. That kind of money could get you a real education at an actual reputable college. Thankfully, at least under the ITT name, this scam has come to an end. ITT will cease operations on all of its campuses as of September 6, 2016.
It’s time for our country to put a stop to organized fraud that comes from primarily for-profit colleges. For example, the government should cut ties with the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools because this same “organization” accredited ITT and the defunct Corinthian/Everest University degree mills. The Obama Administration has done a good job getting tough with for-profit colleges that fail to deliver promises about career results. A similar situation happened with Everest University (Corinthian College), which was also shut down by the US government because of fraud and false advertising practices.
Once government actions shut down a scam/fraudulent school, it should also ensure that the business doesn’t reopen or continue to operate under a different name.
Even public colleges should be monitored for false promises, advertising, and useless degrees, especially if federal financial aid resources are involved. It’s better to prevent problems than to try and deal with thousands of displaced students with worthless transcripts/degrees.
Students should also make smart decisions. Do not waste your time with useless degrees or colleges that are not regionally accredited, which allows you to transfer your courses to another institution because of academic standards. You should also be aware of false promises and poor performance. Run far away from degree mills and useless majors.