PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When Bill Wenzel came to the ITT Technical Institute at the Pittsburgh Mills Wednesday morning, he found himself locked out.
Like some 35,000 ITT student nationwide, Wenzel says the for-profit school has left him high and dry.
“I don’t where to go from here. I’m lucky I have a good, stable family that’s sticking by me through this,” said Wenzel.
The U.S. Army veteran and father of two from Cheswick was only 12 credits away from an Associate’s degree in computer networking, and had hopes of landing a job in information technology.
Instead, he now finds himself mired in debt and says local colleges won’t accept his credits.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan: “You’re out how much money?”
Wenzel: “About $40,000.”
Sheehan: “$40,000 in loans?”
Sheehan: “Your credits are no good?”
Wenzel: “No credits, no nothing. For the other colleges, no.”
But it turns out, Wenzel and others like him may have options, though each one has its complications.
The Pittsburgh Technical College, for one, is extending a hand to local ITT students who may consider transferring and will honor what credits it can.
“Here we will do everything possible to make sure we give them credit for anything they’ve taken that corresponds to our curriculum,” said Pittsburgh Technical College President Greg Defeo.
ITT enrolled students may also get their loans forgiven by the U.S. Department of Education, but the so-called closed-school discharge program would wipe away their credit hours. So, if they wish to continue their education, they’ll have to start over again.
It’s a tough choice for many students who have been left in the lurch.