U.S Rep. Kathy Castor released a statement Thursday addressing the closing of ITT Technical Institute.
On Tuesday, the for-profit college operator said it is ending academic operations at all of its campuses including one on Memorial Highway in Tampa.
In the statement Castor wrote that, "while the ITT closings are national in scope, I have requested that the U.S. Department of Education provide direct assistance to Tampa Bay area students and particularly our veterans who now find themselves facing a new challenge."
Castor also releases resources for students affected by the closures. The U.S. Department of Education has set up a website to help ITT students: www.studentaid.gov\itt.
Student Veterans of America is providing veterans with guidance specific to the student's circumstances at www.studentveterans.org
Hillsborough Community College is also providing support services including advising, financial aid, transcript evaluation, and counseling.
Like many other for-profit college operators, ITT has faced numerous federal and state investigations of its recruiting and accounting practices in recent years.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Education banned the for-profit college from enrolling new students using federal aid.
In a blog post released Tuesday, U.S Education Secretary John King said students currently or recently enrolled at ITT, may be eligible to have their federal student loans dismissed.
Florida Senator Bill Nelson sent a letter to King Tuesday. In it he wrote, "While I support the Department of Education’s efforts to increase oversight of our nation’s for-profit universities, it’s important that we do everything we can to protect the students enrolled at these schools when they unexpectedly shut down – as we’ve done before in similar cases.
Therefore, I urge your department to work closely with the students enrolled at ITT Tech and keep them fully informed of the company's intentions to reimburse them and provide them access to their transcripts and records so that they can continue their education elsewhere.
I also ask that your department fully inform all those affected of their option to refuse a planned teach-out and instead seek forgiveness of their outstanding federal student loans through the Closed School Discharge program."
ITT operated vocational schools on more than 130 campuses in 38 states. Last year, it enrolled 45,000 students and reported $850 million in revenue.