After federal funds were yanked from a chain of beauty schools, about 4,300 students are now left without classes and 800 employees are left without jobs.
Marinello Schools of Beauty announced Thursday they have closed all their campuses in Nevada, Utah and California, including one in Miramar. More campuses in Kansas and Connecticut will shutter Friday.
The Department of Education cut off federal funding to 23 of the Marinello schools, saying administrators falsified financial aid records by allegedly offering funding to some students with invalid high school diplomas.
The school is also accused of cheating students out of money by either charging too much or withholding financial aid.
Marinello administrators deny all the allegations. In a statement released Thursday, the school said:
“When the Department began to withhold funds from our deserving students two months ago, we pleaded with the Department to provide even basic information about its concerns, yet it refused to do so. We are confident we would have been able to address them given Marinello’s long history of compliance with regulatory requirements. The Department waited until we were past the point of no return financially to allow us any opportunity to respond to its unfounded allegations."
Marinello is now working with state educational agencies, the accrediting commission and other schools to help students transfer and complete their education, administrators said.
Students will receive transcripts, transfer options and other materials during campus meetings listed on the school’s website.
Student Antonio De La Rosa, a San Diego veteran who spoke with NBC 7 Wednesday, said he believes the school’s disorganization and unprofessional conduct has led them to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
As he sought his barber license at Marinello, De La Rose said he was “flabbergasted” at some of the school’s practices. He saw students get their high school diplomas in one day, and courses were priced much higher than classes at other schools, he told NBC 7.
“I deserve my education and they’re not giving it to me,” he said before news broke that the school was closing.
The school’s statement said administrators are saddened by the loss of jobs and a century-old institution.
“To our students and coworkers, we want you to know that we did everything in our power to avoid this unfortunate conclusion and keep your school open,” the statement reads.