Moreno Valley, CA
When students of Sage College in Moreno Valley attempted to return to school from their winter break last week they were shocked to learn the school was closed—permanently.
The for-profit college had served students in the area for more than forty years and offered programs in both court reporting and paralegal skills.
During the holiday break, the school reportedly sent email messages to both students and staff and advised them of the issues the school was facing. The messages also reassured students the school had a back-up plan in place—so the students were surprised when they found the school locked and closed after the holiday break.
Sage’s closure purportedly resulted from a legal battle between the U.S. Department of Education and the agency which accredits institutions such as Sage College. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools lost its federal recognition in December. Without the federal recognition status, Sage College diplomas would be virtually worthless.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, resources are being made available to Sage students that in some instances, could include loan forgiveness; however, because taxpayers back most student loans, the Department of Education has been reluctant to forgive student debts in similar cases.
Recently, five former ITT students took matters into their own hands and petitioned a federal bankruptcy court to include loan forgiveness as part of ITT’s liquidation. ITT Tech was forced to close all its campuses last year following a series of federal sanctions.
In 2015, Corinthian Colleges suffered a similar fate, as did Four-D College of the Inland Empire after it lost its accreditation.
Another for-profit school in the Inland Empire also closed its doors in 2016—the Marinello School of Beauty was forced to close its doors after it lost access to federal financial aid last year.