Students and faculty of the for-profit ACT College have been left with many questions after they returned for classes on Tuesday and found out that the college had closed unexpectedly.
ACT College has campuses in Arlington, Alexandria and Manassas, and had been in business for 25 years. It trains students to be dental and medical assistants, as well as radiologists.
When students arrived for classes Tuesday, they found a letter from their college president, apologizing for the untimely shutdown of the school.
In the letter, ACT College President Jeff Moore blamed the U.S. Department of Education for withholding funds from the college after an audit revealed problems at the school.
Many students are very upset about the close, especially since some only had two weeks to go before graduation day.
“This is so ridiculous,” student Tabatha Thomas said. “We have spent so much money and so much time and what happens to the money that we have paid out and the classes we’ve taken?”
Students gathered today on the Manassas campus to protest the closure. Some held up signs saying, “We need answers now!”
The closing of the school came without much warning, and the only explanation students and faculty have received is what’s written in Moore’s letter.
“Well, the current explanation that we have is just a letter that’s been drafted by the president of the college, a man who obviously doesn’t ... care enough to be here to give us the news himself," said the student council president. "I am very skeptical about the information he’s provided.”
Teachers are worried, too, because the school owes them a month’s worth of paychecks -- not to mention they’ve been left without jobs. One faculty member told News4's Jane Watrel he hasn't been paid in two months.
Moore apologized to students and faculty in his letter, stating, “We sincerely regret having to close our doors to our employees & students but we have been left with no other choice given the circumstances.”
News4 has tried to contact Jeff Moore for a response, but we have not heard from him yet.
“Where is he?” student Franki Hurley-Burgess asked. “Why isn't he here? Why isn't he here answering people’s questions? What does he want to do to resolve all of this? Does he want to give us our diplomas? Is he going to open us somewhere else so we can actually finish?”