The state Commission of Higher Education says help is available for the more than 560 students who were impacted when ITT Technical Institute closed its four campuses across South Carolina this week.
ITT issued the surprise announcement Tuesday as part of a nationwide closure, blaming the US Education Department for increased pressure and financial aid restrictions after the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACIS) said the national for-profit school was not in compliance with its accreditation standards.
Commission on Higher Education interim director Gary Glenn said former ITT students have two options moving forward. “Either they recover the funds that they’ve paid for education they did not receive or the better option is to find an institution that would allow them to transfer those credits,” he told South Carolina Radio Network.
ITT previously had campuses in Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach and North Charleston. Former students may be eligible for a closed school loan discharge through the Education Department if they do not wish to transfer. Glenn said the Commission on Higher Education requires institutions like ITT to hold surety bonds which can be used to help students recover their tuition and fees if government student loans were not involved. Students will be reimbursed on a pro rata basis if the bond does not cover the full difference.
Glenn said the commission is working to compile a list of other for-profit or technical colleges where ITT students could potentially transfer credits, but warned it would be limited.
“We know that some of the programs are also offered by public technical colleges,” he said. “There are accreditation issues, transfer issues. There are specifics for the public (colleges) accepting those credits that are a little more stringent than the for-profit might be able to accommodate.”
He urged students to visit the commission’s website for updates as the list is posted in the coming days.