California’s Westech College Closes

Regulations Stamp

During President Obama’s administration, numerous for-profit colleges, like ITT and Corinthian College went out of business due to increased Federal regulations and fewer students enrolling. This trend was put on hold with the election of President Trump, who has virtually eliminated President Obama’s regulations. As a result, massive for-profit colleges like DeVry are now seeing their stock prices skyrocket.

Despite this, Westech College, a for-profit trade school in California, closed its doors in early April. With locations in Fontana, Moreno Valley and Victorville, Westech offered numerous trade degrees, such as HVAC service, computer systems service, and medical and veterinary assistant programs. The closure of the schools was unexpected to its 500 students and its faculty alike, many of whom came to school on a Monday morning to simply find the buildings locked. One teacher told the Fontana Herald News that “All this time, [Westech] kept us in the dark; they didn’t tell us anything.”

In fact, Westech made no official press release, but instead later sent a letter to students in which it explained that the college had been placed on “Heightened Cash Management-2” status following a December 2016 investigation by the Department of Education. In short, for-profit colleges heavily rely on federal taxpayer funding to make money. This Cash Management status required an audit of each individual student’s file before the Department of Education would release funding. Because of how heavily for-profit colleges rely on federal funding, Westech was unable to afford to remain open while it waited for the money.

The sudden closure of Westech left hundreds of former students scrambling to find new colleges, to figure out if they could transfer credits to other colleges, and to learn what impact this would have on their student loans. In addition, it left recent graduates with questions about the value of their expensive degree from a now-defunct college. Regarding Westech’s closure, San Bernardino State Representative Pete Aguilar stated that “Too many times we’ve seen for-profit colleges take advantage of families who are just trying to get ahead by getting an education.”

Like Westech students, many consumers took out large student loans to obtain a degree from DeVry, but did not get the higher paying jobs that were advertised. If you attended DeVry in the last ten years, you may be entitled to relief under California’s consumer protection laws. Even if you accepted a settlement from the FTC lawsuit, you may be able to get more. The attorneys at Moss Bollinger are here to fight for you. We don’t charge any upfront fees. Call us today at (866) 535-2994 for a free consultation or reach us online.

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