SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A lost bid for higher accreditation and lack of new students is forcing San Diego's Coleman University to shut its doors.
According to a letter sent to students and faculty, the Western Association of Colleges and Universities Senior College and University Commission denied the school’s petition for initial accreditation.
Coleman is set to close its doors at the end of the current term, in August.
The school in part blamed the closure on declining enrollment in recent years due to a number of factors. Some of those include de-recognition of the school’s national accreditor and tightened controls over international students traveling to the US.
School officials say they are negotiating teach-out and transfer opportunities for students. The school said it’s also working with the Department of Education to help students.
Coleman University's president, Norbert Kubilus, sent out the following statement after the news was announced Thursday night:
“Losing our bid for regional accreditation placed the financial sustainability of the University in question. Our Board of Trustees and management have been seeking alternate forms of financial support to keep the school open. Finally, after exhausting all feasible resources, the decision to discontinue operations at the end of the current term had to be made.”
Students were heartbroken after hearing the news and attending a Town Hall meeting Thursday night at the college.
"Before the email I got it, I was told by a buddy that goes here and thought it was a lie just thought it was rumors going around," Martin Aguirre said. He spent two years at Coleman.
"It’s super maddening, I did ITT Tech I started out with a degree for electrical engineering 2 years ago and I went two years on this deal and here we are again," Blake Brimm said. He was 6 credits from graduating.
Aguirre said his wife and he made his dream a priority, focusing money on college, "I stopped working and had some money saved up. Now I’m out of money, now I’m out of school... You know I really don’t care about the money, it’s the time you lost you know? Me and my wife talked about it and we were planning to have a family soon and now this."
He wanted to create apps, and games played on your phone.
At the town hall one Brimm said it was pretty heated, one person almost kicked out after cursing at Kubilus.
"Everybody’s angry, everybody’s just so many emotions going... everybody’s in shock and doesn't know what to do," Aguirre said.
There will be professionals at the college on Monday to help students make a decision to move forward. One of the options is debt forgiveness, according to Brimm, where loan debt as well as your credits are wiped clean.
The other option, transfer, and hope all the credits come through to the next school.