Student left in limbo after beauty school closes

Posted at 4:43 PM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-17 20:14:30-05

EL CAJON, Calif. - An El Cajon woman is relieved after her cosmetology school finally released her records even though the school abruptly closed earlier this month.

Jonni Widmaier said she used school loans to pay for a year of training at the Marinello Beauty School in El Cajon.

"I think I learned a lot," she said. "I think I had some pretty good teachers."

RELATED: Students worried Marinello beauty school will close

However, Widmaier called 10News because she needed the certificate she needs to take the state test to get her license. Marinello withheld that certificate until Widmaier paid the final $900 she owes the school.

There was one major problem: "Marinello is no longer in business," Widmaier explained.

All 56 of the beauty schools' locations closed this month after the U.S. Department of Education said Marinello wasn't using federal student aid money correctly.

Widmaier had student loan papers showing she attended the school. She added she had the $900, but she can't find anyone to help with her certificate.

"One agency refers me to the next and most all of them refer me back to BPPE (the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education)," she said.

The sign outside the Marinello campus in El Cajon said students should contact the BPPE. Widmaier said she called and even attended a meeting, but no one could help.

10News contacted the BPPE and a spokesperson said she'd look into her case.

"I want to get my license. I have a job waiting for me," said Widmaier.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Widmaier told 10News the school agreed to waive her fee and provide her with her certificate.