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Career Institute Abruptly Closes; Can't Get Credit To Stay Open

A Woburn school abruptly shut its doors yesterday.

 

The American Career Institute abruptly closed all of its locations across Massachusetts and the United States yesterday, including the State Street Woburn building, citing it was unable to get credit to continue operating.

"Regrettably, American Career Institute is being forced to close on Jan. 9, 2013. The owners had to make the difficult decision to close the school due to its recent and unanticipated inability to access additional credit from the school's lenders. Without access to this credit, ACI is not able to continue operating," stated the Framingham business in a letter to students.

Student Haley Dutchka wrote on the Framingham Patch Facebook page "I sat in class today taking a final. My second month in school at ACI. I stayed after to take a makeup quiz and do extra credit... I left and received an email from school stating they just closed. No warning. I am in complete shock. The students from the framingham campus are in an uproar!"

Dutchka later wrote "The school website is shut down (we can not access our credits or grades) and phones are off. They have no employees so how they plan to "help students" find other schools is beyond me. People that paid 10,000+ just this December lost all of it, only one month into school. Students with a week to go, or ready to graduate now can not. No one has answers, and I dont think we ever will."

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In a letter to students, ACI emailed: "As of January 9, 2013, all ACI campuses will close. Despite, the necessity of a sudden closure, ACI remains committed to its student body. ACI is working diligently with schools in Massachusetts to develop teach-out agreements. Generally, a teach-out agreement would allow current ACI students to complete their programs at another school which offers a similar educational program. ACI encourages students to complete their program as teach outs become available, otherwise please be aware that there is a federal student loan discharge process that you may be eligible to apply for ..."

American Career Institute had locations in Massachusetts in Framingham, Cambridge, Springfield, Woburn and Braintree. It also operated three locations in Maryland in Baltimore, Columbia and Wheaton.

Gerry Kehoe January 10, 2013 at 02:14 PM
My daughter went there and was half way through her program. I don't know what will happen now. She works afternoons and evenings in order to have health insurance which she cannot afford to loose. If she can't coordinate work with a new school, I don't know what she will do. Never mind the money lost, her chance at training for a GOOD job where she can get decent money and insurance (she works 20 hours a week at a grocery store now) may just have flown out the window! The government can bail out big business and banks! Why can't they help here? Float the school while the current students finish their programs!
G C January 10, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Have your daughter take classes at a community college. These for profit schools are a scam.
John Grady January 10, 2013 at 03:08 PM
That's not true. You just have to do your research on the school. Do due diligence and ask around. If your interested in a career, find someone who is in that career and ask where they got there training. It's a large investment so do your research. I am a graduate of Porter and Chester Institute and it was the best decision I ever made. College is a HUGE gamble these days. Just read this article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/6-career-myths-shouldnt-fall-140949200.html I agree there are some scam schools, (technical, college and other) but generalizing is irresponsible.
G C January 10, 2013 at 04:11 PM
Here is a report from the GAO about for profit colleges: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-948T The HVAC and Electric programs at Porter and Chester cost ~$25k. You can get the hours needed for licensing in both fields for ~$5k at schools such as Wentworth. The medical assisting program costs ~$17k at Porter and Chester. The same program at Middlesex CC costs ~$11k. These schools might get you a job when you finish but they rake you over the coals along the way.
John Grady January 10, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Totally different educations, you get what you pay for. I have a bachelors degree in graphic design which costing me over 50 grand. Tough field to make any money in. After trying to make that for 5 years I went for a diploma in Architectural Drawing for 20 grand in a for profit school which led to a career in drafting and eventually Construction Management. Much more lucrative investment. I am not defending ACI or any private schools or colleges. I'm just saying they're not all the same.
Aron Levy January 11, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Yeesh. I feel terrible for the students who were affected by this, and I really hope the AG follows through on the offer of aid. But when dealing with ANY for-profit school, the phrase of the day is CAVEAT EMPTOR. Having talked to many people in education, I have found that there are many demons in that field, and few angels.
Earnhardt January 11, 2013 at 03:17 AM
A lot of these students used savings or borrowed from family members to pay for their education. That money is gone, Those that borrowed from other sources may get relieved of the debt, Even a school like this that has been around for years can be all smoke and mirrors.

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