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Art Institute Suddenly Closes Its Doors As Students Scramble For Transcripts

NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA)  -  The Art Institute of California closed its doors and hundreds of students lined up on the campus -- some anxious, many outraged.

As students contemplate their next move, many told CBS2/KCAL9 they want answers as well.

Meanwhile, many of those same students lined up to try to get copies of their transcripts.

"I'm supposed to graduate, was supposed to graduate this quarter," says Saraj Diaz.

She was one of the hundreds of students waiting for her transcripts. With the sudden shutdown of the school, her life is now in limbo.

"I don't know if I'm going to get my diploma - I don't know what's going on. If I have to transfer to another school." she says.

"It's just kind of out of the blue - I guess it gives us less time to prepare and get everything that we need - because they just told us like yesterday basically that it's closed," says Lauren Schlicht.

Students say the abrupt closure followed rumors of financial problems. Yesterday, the rumors became reality.

Terrance Mesadieu says he's spent around $40,000  on his education at the school.

"I'm trying to transfer to another school and it's going to be hard for me to transfer to another school and, you know, there's just a whole bunch of stuff I've got to figure out now," says Mesadieu.

Art Institute of California
(credit: CBS)

State officials say the school was notified last week that the federal government cut off the Art Institute's ability to accept federally backed student loans - usually a fatal blow for for-profit colleges.

The holding company for the school released a statement that reads in part:

"...We are working with students, accreditors, state regulators and the U.S. Department of Education to provide as many options as possible for students, to include transfer to another higher education institution or student loan discharge."

"We're all just very upset about this because the way the school is handling it is absolutely unacceptable," says student Jameel Alayyan.

The state says they will provide workshops to help students understand how -- and if -- they can get reimbursed.


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