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



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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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27: Zoe McReynolds is announced the winner of the UK's most prestigious hospitality scholarship, the Le Cordon Bleu UK Scholarship Award 2013, receiving the award from chef Pierre Koffmann at a reception at Le Cordon Bleu's Centre of Excellence in London's Bloomsbury Square. she beat entrants from all over the UK to scoop the £30,000 prize, and will now study the world-renowned Le Grand Diplome at Le Cordon Bleu before enjoying an apprenticeship with Koffmann at Le Cordon Bleu on March 27, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images For Le Cordon Bleu)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27: Chefs prepare ahead of the announcement of the winner of the UK's most prestigious hospitality scholarship, the Le Cordon Bleu UK Scholarship Award 2013, receiving the award from chef Pierre Koffmann at a reception at Le Cordon Bleu's Centre of Excellence in London's Bloomsbury Square. Zoe McReynolds beat entrants from all over the UK to scoop the £30,000 prize, and will now study the world-renowned Le Grand Diplome at Le Cordon Bleu before enjoying an apprenticeship with Koffmann at Le Cordon Bleu on March 27, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images For Le Cordon Bleu)
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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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