(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) Vatterott Career Colleges nationwide surprised students shuttering all schools Monday afternoon.
Last December, the for-profit education center in St. Joseph announced it was closing its doors.
The company's website has been wiped clean except for two statements. One is addressed to Vatterott employees and the other is addressed to the 11,000 students enrolled at one of the company's colleges in Missouri, Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Illinois.
The statement reads in part, "To our deep regret, changes in economic and regulatory conditions in recent years have had a significant, prolonged, negative impact on the Vatterott institutions. These changes also have made it difficult to secure additional financing or capital."
Education Corporation of America, a privately held for-profit chain of colleges, announced in January 2018 it was in the process of acquiring Vatterott centers. But according to Monday's statement, the U.S. Department of Education restricted Vatterott students access to federal financial aid programs. The company said that decision effectively blocked ECA from buying Vatterott schools.
"Vatterott is unable to continue operation under these restrictions, and consequently, is unable to complete the aforementioned sale. The Department imposed these restrictions despite the presence of an interested buyer and our clear communication that such restrictions would result in the school’s closure," according to the statement.
The statement said the company was seeking transfer opportunities for current students to complete their education at another institution.
All Vatterott campuses closed December 17, 2018 at 4 p.m.