ITT Tech's closure is one of the largest in US history -- and it was 'long overdue'

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ITT Technical Educational Services, Inc. abruptly announced that it will cease operations at all campuses.

The announcement, which affects 40,000 students and 8,000 employees, is one of the largest college closures in US history.

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Ben Miller, a senior director at the Center for American Progress and a former senior policy advisor at the Department of Education (ED), called the closure "long overdue," and described an institution whose concern over growth and profit trumped a quality education for students.

"The reason why this action took down ITT was because of choices repeatedly made by management for years that weakened the school, harmed students, and ultimately tarnished a brand that used to have value," Miller told Business Insider.

ITT, however, blamed The Department of Education (ED) for forcing its hand.

"With what we believe is a complete disregard by the U.S. Department of Education for due process to the company, hundreds of thousands of current students and alumni and more than 8,000 employees will be negatively affected," ITT wrote in a statement on Tuesday.

Shortly after, ITT announced it wouldn't accept new enrollments at all. The ED's sanctions struck such a blow to ITT Tech because, like most for-profit colleges, it's highly dependent on federal aid.

ITT's closure comes about a year after another for-profit college behemoth, Corinthian Colleges, shuttered doors on its California campuses, affecting 16,000 students.

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This photo taken July 8, 2014 shows a person walking past an Everest Institute sign in a office building in Silver Spring, Md. The Education Department says a former federal prosecutor will monitor a troubled for-profit education company that has agreed to sell or close its campuses. Corinthian Colleges has agreed to close a dozen U.S. campuses in 11 states and place 85 up for sale. The company serves 72,000 students and owns Everest College, Heald College and WyoTech schools. The department has said the company failed to provide adequate paperwork and comply with requests to address concerns about its practices. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
California Attorney General Kamala Harris points to a display showing the location of Corinthian Colleges located in California during a news conference Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in San Francisco. California's attorney general is suing the college company, alleging it misrepresented job placement rates and school programs to lure low-income state residents. According to the AG's Office, Santa Ana-based Corinthian and its subsidiaries operate Everest, Heald and WyoTech colleges and have 81,000 students. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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Corinthian, however, was able to sell its campuses in other states to nonprofit school, which allowed a majority of students to continue working toward their degrees.

ITT Tech, however, won't be selling the school to another institution, according to a statement.

"We reached this decision only after having exhausted the exploration of alternatives, including transfer of the schools to a non-profit or public institution," it read.

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