(WTNH) — Hundreds of students at a chain of beauty schools here in Connecticut showed up to class today only to learn their schools were closing up shop permanently.
Marinello Schools of Beauty have 56 schools in 6 states, and the company has announced they’re closing them all.
There are six schools here in the state, Hamden, Fairfield, Meriden, Niantic, Willimantic, and East Hartford. The schools offered cosmetology programs and the Connecticut Office of Higher Education says nearly 500 students were enrolled in those locations.
In a statement released on Thursday, the Office of Higher Education said, “The schools are closed following action earlier this week by the U.S. Department of Education to cut off federal loans and grants due to a wide range of records violations.”
At the Fairfield location, student Rejinee Reese said she just turned in a tuition payment on Monday. Now, she thinks she’s out of her money and her education.
“I Have nothing. I have no education to fall back on after this. I have nothing. I quit my job last week to finish hours here. I quit my job,” said Reese.
Reese was one of dozens of students in Fairfield packing up their tools after instructors told them they were locking the doors today. Reese said students first became aware there might have been a problem at the school a few months ago, but said teachers said to just keep up with business as usual.
“We never got a real meeting. We never got a real sit down to tell us what’s going on, what’s actually going on,” said Reese.
In Hamden, students were first alerted about a possible closing earlier this week. Today letters went out from the school informing them the school will shut down tomorrow.
“It sucks becuase I’m paying all this money to go to school just to find out that I can’t even finish and get my license like I wanted to,” said one student named Chrystal.
“Some people are taking it a little bit more lightly, some are taking it a little more aggravating,” said another student named Gio.
The Office of Higher Education is urging students to register with the agency’s Education and Employment Information Center at 800-842-0229. They say they hope to obtain student and financial records from all of the schools in the state and help students find placements at other schools.
“Empty. I’m at a loss of words right now because this is people’s lives,” said Reese.
If you are one of the Marinello School students affected by the closure, click here for more information on how you can have your student loans forgiven.