DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. -- Some students say they have spent more than $100,000 with ITT Technical College for their education, only to find that the institution suddenly announced Tuesday it was closing all of its campuses permanently.
Now, those students are trying to figure out their next move.
Standing outside their former school, reality is beginning to set in.
Ashley Hicks is a single mom, and a student at the ITT Tech campus in Douglasville.
It was like everything to me," she said. "I've worked so hard, and now I feel like I'm going to have to start over. It was kind of like a dream school for me to go to."
She had her sights set on a degree in electrical engineering and plans for a better life.
"I wanted something more for my kids; more for myself," she said. "It's more about the accomplishment and showing my kids I went to college and got a degree -- and if I can do it, you can do it."
Jennifer Camp, also a single mom, had similar goals.
"Without this, I can't really do what I want to do with my life," she said.
ITT Tech announced Tuesday it is closing all of its doors nationwide for good. Blaming it on the US Department of Education's decision to keep it from enrolling students using federal aid, the for-profit company has been at the center of state and federal investigations into its practices.
"Really, I mean more than anything, I am in shock," Camp said.
Current students are left in limbo. Some former students, like April Tubens, are still looking for a job.
"Mine was a waste," Turbens said. "job placement is like a joke. They literally go onto like Google and Craigslist and shoot the emails to you, and it's like I could do that myself!"
Tubens graduated from ITT Tech in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Six years later, she is still a dental assistant.
They don't care about your education," she said. "They just want your money."
The Department of Education says students are left with one of two options: Walk away debt free, but back to square one -- or take your credits and all that debt to a school that will accept you. It's a tough choice for sure, but one that so many are going to have to make.
(© 2016 WXIA)