KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Imagine forking out $15,000 for college, being two weeks away from graduation and then learning the college has shut down. It happened on Tuesday afternoon to more than 100 students across the metro. Heritage College announced the closing of its campus.
“We have nothing to show, we are getting nothing back from them so we are paying $15,000 for nothing,” said Kaitlyn Bell, a medical assistant student.
Bell said she was studying for her final that she was supposed to take on November 16th.
“I spent nine-and-a-half months of my life there every single day to get a better education, and it has went down the hole,” she said.
Bell has been commuting to the college’s Kansas City, Mo., campus every day from Harrisonville. She said she has to start paying her student loans back in six months.
Alexis Fox, another medical assistant student, said when she heard the news she sat in her car and cried.
“I am thinking all of this work that we have done is for nothing,” she told FOX 4. “In six months I am going to have to start paying for those loans and they are going to be toward nothing because I don’t have anything.”
Students told FOX 4 they were given no notice about the shut down and showed up for their evening classes to find the doors locked and a note on the door. The note said the campus shut down because it doesn’t have enough cash to continue.
Heritage officials did not return FOX 4's calls but wrote on their website,"...Heritage does not have the cash to continue to run its business. Numerous factors contributed to the circumstances including declining student population... we did explore a range of options that would have enabled the campuses to remain open serving students. Unfortunately, the options were not viable and our efforts proved unsuccessful."
Bell and Fox said they were already looking for jobs.
The college operates 10 campuses across the country, including one in Kansas City at 1200 E. 104th Street. Students we spoke to said they don’t know if their credits will transfer to another college or if they will have to start over. The college refuses to call back FOX 4.
The college said it was shutting down in large part because of the decreased demand for services.
According to the college's website, students were told to send inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The U.S. Department of Education offers advice on the criteria that make you eligible for a closed school discharge, and there are certain steps you need to take to get a discharge. Click here to learn more.