PHOENIX - Students at two Valley colleges are scrambling to figure out what to do after finding out their schools may close this Friday.
Both are private vocational schools in Phoenix; Anthem College located at 1515 E. Indian School Road and Bryman School located at 9215 North Black Canyon Hwy.
Student Dafine Fernandez says staff told everyone when they showed up for class Wednesday morning.
"They said if they don't get the stamp of approval from the (U.S.) Department of Education, they're going to be shutting (the) doors on Friday," she said.
Fernandez has been enrolled at the school for the past three months and is studying to be an X-ray technician.
The mother of four says she paid nearly $20,000 in grants and loans, and wonders what will happen to her money.
She also wants to know why students are only now finding out.
"I don't understand why they are barely telling us," said Fernandez. "I'm sure they knew about this."
We found out both schools are owned by Anthem Education, which has total a of three schools in Arizona and dozens around the country.
A week ago, they agreed to sell the schools to a company called International Education Corporation, a move that has to be approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
One of the three Phoenix-area schools has already been approved, but the Indian School Road and Black Canyon High locations have not gone through yet.
The Arizona Board of Post Secondary Education regulates private trade schools, and says they are working with the schools' owner to provide options for students should approval not be obtained by Friday, and the schools have to close. They are urging students to continue going to class because they are working on enlisting other schools to take on some students for a transfer program that would keep credits and tuition payments in tact.
Some students may qualify for a refund of certain federal loans. You can find out more about that here .
A spokesperson for Anthem Education sent this statement:
“Our foremost goal has always been the well-being of our students. We remain hopeful that we will be able to complete our proposed sale of an additional 14 schools to International Education Corporation (IEC) through our Chapter 11 process. 9 of these 14 schools will be closed if we do not receive Department of Education approval for the transaction by Friday, August 29th. This is why we are concurrently working hard to safeguard our students’ education should we be forced to close the schools by actively seeking potential partners who would be willing to participate in an orderly ‘teach out’ or transfer process.”
Meanwhile students like Fernandez are in limbo and her teachers may have to look for a new job.
"I understand they are gonna lose their jobs but they have their degrees, I don't. That's what I came here for," said Fernandez.
I'll let you know how this one turns out.
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