LAKESIDE, Colo. -- Students of the now-defunct Heritage College are meeting Wednesday night to talk about options.
The school’s sudden closure on Tuesday stunned students, many of whom were just a few days or weeks from graduation.
“I took out loans,” said Stephanie Fischer, who was trying to get certified as a personal trainer. “It was 22-Grand for me to come here and I was literally a foot out the door and they took it from me.”
Fischer was among a large group of angry students who gathered outside the school near I-70 and Harlan Street Wednesday morning.
“We want answers,” said Chris Mosman, who was attending Heritage with his daughter, Cristen.
Both were studying to be dental assistants.
“I chose to come here with my daughter to get an education and to have a better future,” he said. “We have four months left to graduate.”
Mosman told Denver7 that everything was fine on Monday. He said he felt great after winning the school’s Halloween costume contest.
“I received a Starbucks gift card for $15. I went there this morning to get a Starbucks Coffee and when I got ready to pay for it – zero balance,” he said.
Cristen Mosman said she received a text message late Tuesday from a friend, informing her that the school had gone out of business.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I thought it was a hoax.”
The school posted a notice on their website and front door explaining that the closure of all ten campuses was due, in part, to declining enrollment and declining demand for for-profit schools.
Here’s a link to the College’s website: http://www.heritagecollege.edu/
The note said they weren’t closing because of any wrong-doing, nor were they being forced to close by regulatory agencies. It was all due to finances.
Rochelle Bara said that explanation isn’t good enough.
She said she attended Heritage ten years ago for a degree in massage therapy, and came back this year to study esthetics, or skin care.
She said she “graduated out” last Wednesday but has yet to get her certificate.
“I don’t know how I’m going to be able to take my tests, because it’s sitting in the Dean’s office,” Bara said.
When asked if she’ll be able to get a job, Bara replied, “I have one lined up, but I don’t know if I’m going to be able to keep it because I still have to get my license and that depends on that paper that’s sitting in the Dean’s office.”
When students tried to enter the school to talk to administrators, they were told the school was closed.
A security guard with a K-9 was on hand to keep them out of the building.
“We can’t even use the restrooms,” Cristen Mosman said.
Denver7 tried to contact school officials by phone but were unable to leave a message because the mailbox was full.
We sent an email inquiring whether any students will get a refund, whether those with enough credits will get a certificate, or whether any credits will transfer.
We have yet to receive a reply.