Local ITT Tech Students Say They're in Debt, Further Away From Degree

There are new developments in the sudden closure of ITT Technical Institute.

A laid-off teacher filed a lawsuit Tuesday afternoon and is seeking class-action status on behalf of the thousands of employees who suddenly lost their jobs.

Students, though, may still be on the hook for federal and private education loans, even though they'll be unable to finish their degrees.

ITT Technical Institute shuttered all 130 locations around the country, including three campuses right here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

North Texas ITT Tech students got an e-mail early Tuesday morning telling them campus was closed immediately and upcoming fall semester classes were canceled.

Thousands of students are heartbroken. They’ve lost money, time and hope.

"My classmates and I, we just don’t know where to go from here," said Stacey Hillard, a nursing student at ITT's Richardson campus. "I had just one semester remaining. Twelve weeks before I got my license and became an RN."

"I was looking forward to it and now it’s a dream shattered," she added.

Hillard and about 30 other classmates have studied together for the last two and a half years in the nursing program. They were scheduled to go back to class Monday morning for their last 12 weeks of school.

"I spent almost $50,000 to get this point," Hillard said. "And now, I'm being told all of that may have been a waste. Not to mention that I still won’t have a degree."

All day long, Hillard’s been on the phone with other North Texas colleges and nursing programs.

"The schools that are accepting some credits are only accepting general education credits, which means that I’d still need to start all over again with my nursing classes," she explained. "That’s another 18 months minimum."

"Instead of being 12 weeks, it’s going to be 18 months. And so much more money," she said, standing in disbelief outside the locked doors of her school.

Hillard said she’s called the Attorney General’s Office, the Governor’s Office and the federal Department of Education looking for answers.

"The only response I’ve been getting is that 'this whole situation is brand new, it just happened today and at this moment we don’t have answers.'"

Mohammed Serwer studied electrical engineering at the Richardson ITT campus for 18 months. He showed up Tuesday afternoon hoping he'd be able to at least print out a transcript to show to a new college.

"At least the transcript can show that you went to school, you know? The grades show that you did the work they wanted you to do. It shows the effort was there," he said.

Instead, he was met by an empty parking lot and locked doors. He says he's disappointed and sad.

"In hindsight, I feel disappointed, all that effort and time I put into it, ends up being a waste," he said.

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