A business and technical school with two locations in Connecticut announced on Wednesday that it has permanently closed.
Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute officials sent a letter to students saying all future classes and programs are canceled, and all campuses are now closed.
The institute has locations in New London and Danbury.
Officials said the institute has “faced severe financial and operational challenges over the last year, after the U.S. Department of Education withdrew recognition of its accreditor, ACICS."
Institute officials said while they tried to obtain accreditation, the economic and operational impacts left them unable to continue to operate.
In April, Bethany Tucker enrolled at the school in New London to study medical billing. It wasn't easy with a young child at home, but she stuck it out and was proud to be just a few weeks from graduation.
"It was absolutely heartbreaking and I thought that the only way that I could move forward is if I did something to better my life for Evelyn and myself, so I decided to go back to school," Tucker said.
All of that came crashing down on Wednesday.
"I was in shock and I started crying heavily because I don't know what to do next," Tucker said.
All future classes and programs are canceled.
"I feel like they betrayed us and they lied to us because I feel like they knew that they were closing," Tucker said.
Tucker said her program costs nearly $20 thousand and students like herself who used student loans to pay will have to apply for loan forgiveness, and those who paid up front are likely out of luck.
"I would want to know why they didn't send out notices or warn people that this was happening. Now I have to worry about how I'm going to support me and my child," Tucker said.
“Efforts to secure outside investment were unsuccessful,” school officials said in the letter.
A sign outside the New London campus still states "classes forming now" in large letters, but the truth is in smaller print on a piece of paper on the front door.
"I'm not going to let it defeat me, I'm going to get on my feet and figure out what to do next," Tucker said.
Channel 3 called and emailed Ridley-Lowell for a comment, but they only sent an automatic reply email that stated, "As of April 4, 2018, Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute is permanently closed. Please see website www.ridley.edu for further information."
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