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September 06, 2016

(Wikimedia Commons)

UPDATE (09/06/16): ITT Tech announced on Tuesday it will discontinue academic operations at more than 130 campuses in 38 states, including two in Massachusetts. The approximately 40,000 students currently enrolled now have the option of transferring their credit or applying for debt relief.

The announcement comes days after the Department of Education ruled the career school ineligible for federal student aid. In a statement, ITT said the government's action was inappropriate and unconstitutional. 

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey had sued ITT for using aggessive sales tactics and lying to students about their job prospects.

'They claim to train students in computer technology but, in fact, had students working in big box stores selling computers," Healey said.

The career school currently enrolls hundreds of students in Massachusetts.

Those who can't transfer their ITT credits are eligible to apply for student loan debt relief. 

Healey is promising to help affected students who contact her office. 

Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos Santiago says ITT violeated state regulations when it abruptly closed its doors.

"We received no advance notice of ITT's closure plans," said Santiago, whose office is working Healey to assist students who have been displaced.

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UPDATE (08/30/16): ITT announced on Tuesday it will stop enrolling new students. The Department of Education is encouraging current students to finish their programs or transfer their credits, but according to ITT credits earned by current students are "unlikely to transfer."

In another blow to the for-profit higher education industry, the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday announced it is banning ITT Technical Institute from enrolling new students who receive federal aid, and requiring the for-profit company to pay $153 million to cover student refunds.

Federal officials have found ITT Tech to be out of compliance with its accreditor’s standards.

In a statement, Education Secretary John B. King said the government is trying to protect students and taxpayers. 

"Looking at all of the risk factors, it's clear that we need increased financial protection and that it simply would not be responsible or in the best interest of students to allow ITT to continue enrolling new students who rely in federal student aid funds," King said.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has been seeking penalties against the for-profit school, which runs more than 130 campuses across the country, including two campuses in Norwood and Wilmington.

In April, Healey sued ITT for using aggressive sales tactics and misleading students about their job prospects.

In a statement, Healey said the Department's action sends a clear message: Schools that rely on federal dollars will be held accountable.

Current ITT students have a few options: They can continue their course, transfer credits to a new school that will accept them or wait to see how federal and state investigations resolve.

Related: Nation's Largest Accreditor Itself Faces Deaccreditation 

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