Vatterott students lament time lost, search for options after college closes its doors

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The fallout continues after Vatterott College abruptly closed its doors Monday, leaving students with massive debt and teachers out of work.

“My husband and I are both veterans, we both served our country," said Julie Williams, who was studying to be a dental assistant.

Her husband was in the electrical program. The veterans, who have two children, were utilizing the G.I. Bill, getting paid to go to school.

“Our benefits ended whenever the institution closed its doors,” Williams said. “We lost all or benefits which is what we use to pay our bills.”

In an email to instructors Monday afternoon, Vatterott administration told them to pack up their things and leave, that they were no longer employed and cut off health benefits. The letter also said the college would work to find students placement elsewhere, but all students know is what they see on the news.

“I don’t believe that because they have not contacted us yet,” Williams said.

Since they say Vatterott is not helping them, Williams' husband has reached out to other schools himself.

According to the G.I. Bill allows veterans up to 36 months of education. The Williams have already used much of their time allotted.

“That is what is a little emotional,” Williams said. “That we are not going to be able to get that time back.”

It is an expensive school. The dental assistant program is $19,000. The electrical program is $42,000 and the diesel mechanic program is $26,000.

Most students have taken out loans to pay for the bulk of that tuition. Vatterott has not communicated with students and has left hundreds of students with questions about their uncertain future and big piles of debt.

“Now I don’t know if I am supposed to pay that or if they are going to get their money back, or, I don’t know,” said dental assistant student Kayla Driver. “I worked so hard, I put so much time and money and effort into going there. I have paid for my books and Vatterott scrubs for nothing it feels like.”

While Vatterott is silent, the Missouri Community College Association has created a resource page for Vatterott students. It includes information about student loans, how to get transcripts and contact information of other community colleges in the area.

FOX4 has reached out to Vatterott several times to help students get answers. We have not gotten a reply.

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