ITT Tech’s nationwide closures leave students with debt and uncertain future

"To see everything locked off, I mean, no that's not normal," former ITT Tech student Arnett Kelley said.

Students trying to finish up some last minute paperwork were stunned to find their school no longer exists.

ITT Technical Institute announced Tuesday it is permanently closing all campuses nationwide after more than 50 years in business.

In a statement from ITT Tech, the school attributed the move by the U.S. Education Department to ban the for-profit college from enrolling new students needing federal financial aid.

In the metro, there is one campus Kansas City, Mo, and another in Overland Park, two of the 140 campuses nationwide.

This school closed so suddenly, even some students enrolled for this quarter didn't even know about it.

"I had to sign up for my financial aid, and I come up here, and see you guys, and the school is closed," Kelley explained.

Kelley has been taking classes at ITT Tech since 2014. He was stopping by today to fill out some paperwork so he'd be ready to go for classes next week.

"It's crazy, you know, I have one more quarter to go before I get my Associate's Degree, and I'm just wondering what am I supposed to do," Kelley added.

More than 8,000 employees will be affected by the shutdown, as well as people like Kelley, one of thousands of students who were preparing for classes that were supposed to start next week.

"We had finals maybe two weeks ago. We've had like a week off," Kelley said.

ITT Tech has faced federal and state investigations of its recruiting and accounting practices.

In a statement, the school blamed the closure on unwarranted federal action, calling the government's action, "inappropriate and unconstitutional."

"What am I going to be paying all this money for? The government is going to want their money," Kelley said.

The U.S. Department of Education sent an email to ITT Tech's 35,000 enrolled students notifying them of the closure and telling them what their options are, but Kelley said he hasn't received a thing.

"No one notified me; no one emailed me; no one called me. No one said anything," Kelley said. "I would like to really know, what is my next step? What am I supposed to do?"

Kelley was studying electrical engineering and said he owes more than $20,000 in student loans.

"That's what you go to school for: to ultimately get the piece of paper to show somebody, like, 'hey I studied this. Let me get a decent paying job,'" Kelley said. "I'm more like lost. I mean, I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I mean, I owe all this money for student aid, for loans, and I don't have anything to show for it."

Current or recently enrolled students could be eligible to have their student loan debt forgiven and might be able to transfer ITT Tech credits to another school.

In addition to participating in future meetings to inform ITT students about their options, ED is sponsoring a series of national webinars for all ITT students to share information and address students’ questions and concerns. Click here to learn more.