RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) – It could be the biggest collapse in U.S. higher education, and it’s hitting close to home.
Heald campuses from Stockton to Roseville are closed.READ MORE: Reality Sets In For Fawn Fire Evacuees In Shasta County
Students we spoke to say they knew the college was in trouble, but didn’t expect to be blindsided with a sudden shutdown like what was announced Sunday.
“Basically, they’re just giving us the boot,” said Heald student Kelly McHaney.
McHaney is one thousands of Heald College students who got the email Sunday morning.
“We weren’t expecting to have it happen the way it did,” McHaney said. “We didn’t expect on Sunday morning, having breakfast with our families, to get an email stating that our school is closed.”
The school’s financial troubles were widespread and public, but McHaney says advisors promised any closure would come after she completed her coursework.
“They completely closed the school. We can’t finish our degrees, we’ve got school loans, I know I’ve got school loans over $25,000,” McHaney said.READ MORE: Sacramento's New Response Team Looks To Address Mental Health, Homelessness
The closure comes following years of allegations by the state and federal government agencies that Heald’s parent company Corinthian used predatory practices to enroll students and receive government loans, and that Corinthian faked job placement and graduation stats.
“They need to be straight up with us, not try to baby us,” said Melissa Valentine, another Heald College student. “They need to be straight forward because they’re messing with people’s futures.”
Corinthian released a statement saying the forced closures came after a sale of their campuses fell apart because of state and federal regulators.
Now these students fear they’re being left with hefty loans and nowhere to learn.
“I was told if they do close the school, we would be allowed to finish our programs. That’s not happening,” McHaney said.
In total, 16,000 students at 28 for-profit campuses closed Sunday.
Heald College students received an email saying they can meet with school administrators Thursday for more information. The U.S. Department of Education also announced it will be reaching out to students to review their options.MORE NEWS: Sacramento County Boots Gibson Ranch Horse Riding Operator After 8-Year-Old Suffers Injuries
Corinthian college students wondering what to do next can head to a special page put together by the Education Department here: http://www.ed.gov/blog/2015/04/working-to-protect-students-and-borrowers-as-corinthian-colleges-ceases-operation/