Students shocked after cosmetology school suddenly closes

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Regency Beauty Institute announced it’s closing all 79 of its campuses, including the school in Columbus. The cosmetology school has operated for more than 50 years.

The closure comes as a shock to many Columbus Regency Beauty Institute students. They say they had no warning at all.

We were there when students arrived earlier today to find the building locked and signs posted on the door, saying the school is closed for good.

Several students gathered with signs to protest the closing. Some of these students tell NBC4 they were in class yesterday.

But the major concern, what happens to their financial aid and those who just want to finish their courses. Some have even gone as far as taking legal action.

“Today in light of the school being closed down I went to talk to another school, which is Paul Mitchell,” said Bryce Jans, student at Regency Beauty Institute. “They said you know the financial aid has to be in order, the school needs to make sure they pay it back in order for you to transfer here. I think that’s what’s going to put a lot of us transferring in limbo.”

“If you don’t want to finish the program, which I know the majority of us are not, you can get your money reimbursed,” said Sharita Dinkins, Regency Beauty Institute student. “But for me personally, keep the money I just want to finish. I got two kids at home, I want to finish.”

The cosmetology school posted the following statement on their website:

This is incredibly difficult news for everyone affected: especially our students, teachers, and staff. We recognize that some of you may be finding this out for the first time by reading this. We are truly sorry for the abrupt nature of this information.

How did this happen? In short, the organization does not have the cash to continue to run the business. There are multiple intertwined reasons: declining numbers of cosmetology students nationwide, a negative characterization of for-profit education by regulators and politicians that continues to worsen and, in light of these factors, an inability to obtain continued financing.

This is not another case of a school being forced to shut down because it was accused of wrongdoing. We held ourselves to high educational and ethical standards. The environment is simply not one that allows us to remain open. We diligently explored a range of strategic options that would benefit our students, teachers, and staff — and allow us to remain open. Unfortunately, those efforts were not successful.

Students were allowed to pick up their belongings Thursday afternoon. If you or someone you know didn’t get a chance to do that today, the Columbus campus will open from 11am to 1pm Friday.

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