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Art Institute latest for-profit run school to abruptly close

Posted at 5:04 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-10 11:15:12-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Students spent Friday gathering their belongings and saying goodbye to their peers at the Art Institute of San Diego.

The school's operator, the for-profit Argosy University, shut down the campus after court documents alleged it misused millions of dollars in federal funds.

The move left many students angry and wondering what's next.

"I feel so empty," said Marjan Razavi, about six months from graduating and $50,000 in debt. "I lose my job and my education at the same time."

The Institute's closure is the latest for-profit run school to abruptly shut down in San Diego. In 2018, Brightwood College closed its doors. In 2016, the giant I.T.T. Technical Institute shuttered.

Derek Abbey runs the Veterans Center at San Diego State University, a population he says the for-profits target because of their education benefits. Abbey said the schools often make grand job promises, but charge higher tuition than public universities (a federal study showed double), but spend a lot of that money on advertising.

"They're getting out in front of the populations that they expect are going to come to their school, and often times those are under represented populations that don't know the higher education systems," Abbey said.

Abbey teaches the alternative options like attending community college and transferring to a public university - many now offering the convenience of online classes.

About twenty colleges participated in a transfer fair at the art institute building Friday. Students also can request loan forgiveness, however that would involve canceling some, or all, of the credits they've earned so far.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Coleman University was a for-profit college. It was a non-profit college.