After 31 years in business, the owner of a Fort Collins beauty school can no longer offer his students federal financial aid.
Dale Matuska opened Hair Dynamics with his wife before she died from cancer last year.
He says he filed with the Department of Education before his wife’s estate was switched over to him, including her share of the school’s ownership and so he included her name in the certification of ownership.
“It would be falsifying a document saying that I actually had owned the stock and owned the company when in fact the probate wasn’t over,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Dept. of Education tells Denver7 that Matuska should have changed the ownership to only his name and had ten days to do so.
Because he didn’t change it in time, the department took away his eligibility to offer federal student aid to the school’s students.
"It’s out of control,” he said, “and I can’t do anything about it and it’s the first time in my life that I haven’t had control of something and I just feel helpless.'
Matuska has not made his students pay the difference in tuition without federal funding.
In order to cover the costs, he’s had to let go of half his staff.
“I feel like I let her (his wife) down and the students and the staff,” he said.
His students are refusing to be forced out of the school.
Instead, they’re finding ways to raise their own money to cover the extra expenses.
“I plan to be here ‘til the end,” said Natasha Johnson, who’s lost more than $2,000 in federal aid.
A spokesperson for the Dept. of Education tells Denver7 that they are considering Matuska’s appeal on their decision to remove financial aid.
In the meantime, Matuska is looking for other options, even considering setting the school as a non-profit to cut costs.
“I don’t care if it doesn’t make any money,” he said, “I just want the students to continue to get the best education possible.”