Cuyahoga Community College reaching out to students affected by ITT Tech troubles

By Karen Farkas

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cuyahoga Community College is trying to reach students who no longer can enroll in the beleaguered ITT Technical Institute.

ITT, a for-profit college with campuses in Warrensville Heights, Strongsville, Akron and Youngstown, was notified last week by the U.S. Department of Education that it could no longer enroll new students who use federal financial aid.

The company then posted on its website that it was not enrolling any new students.

ITT Tech banned from enrolling students who would receive federal aid

What might happen to ITT Tech?

Experts have speculated the action by the federal department will lead to the collapse of the company, which has 130 campuses.

ITT has six schools – electronics technology, drafting and design, information technology, business, criminal justice and the Breckinridge School of nursing and health sciences.

How does that relate to Tri-C?

Tri-C has options in many of the same programs, spokesman John Horton said.

“The College is using a variety of avenues – such as advertising and social media – to put an emphasis on programs ITT students may look to pursue as they consider their options,” Horton said in an email. ” In addition, student recruiters are sharing information about how ITT students can successfully transfer between institutions.”

Tri-C has not contacted the ITT campuses and does not have a list of current ITT students, Horton said later in a telephone interview.

“We are formulating a plan,” he said of how Tri-C might respond if ITT closes. “We are looking at what we can do. Basically, the initial thing we are doing is getting the word out that show the options that are here and similar programs.”

Could credits transfer?

According to the Department of Education, current ITT students with federal loans can remain at their school, seek to transfer to another college or pause their education.

It may be difficult for ITT’s students to transfer credits. The company said on its website that it is unlikely any credits would be accepted at another school.

And ITT students may have already used up their years of Pell Grant eligibility, Inside Higher Ed reported.

“ITT received $169 million (in Pell grants last year), which went to almost 50,000 recipients,” Lauren Walizer, senior policy analyst at the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success at the Center for Law and Social Policy, told Inside Higher Ed. “This is a significant number of low-income students, who, without being made whole again, through loan discharges and restoration of Pell eligibility, will continue to be harmed by their attendance at ITT.” 

Has this happened before?

After the for-profit Corinthian Colleges filed for bankruptcy last year Congress introduced legislation to restore Pell eligibility for students who attended institutions that were closed for certain violations like fraud or predatory practices. The legislation is pending.

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