Students attending the Wasatch Career Institute, a two-year business school, were told this week that they will receive an early but not particularly welcome vacation.
Supervisors and teachers at the institute, located at 5286 S. 320 West, say the school is deeply in debt and will no longer continue to operate. Thursday night school officials held a meeting to notify students of the closure.Students enrolled in business or paralegal classes, who have paid almost $4,000 each in tuition for their programs, were recently notified the school would be closing because it needs some time to work through financial problems.
Angela Hansen, a student at the institute, said, "We knew there was a problem. They (school officials) told us it was being handled, but it wasn't."
Approximately 65 students attended the meeting. School officials are planning to contact remaining students to explain their options.
John S. Cowan, president of the Bryman School, who attended the meeting Thursday night, said he was contacted a week ago by institute officials who told him they would have to refer their students to other schools because of the closure.
Cowan said he then contacted other schools in the valley and made arrangements with Certified Careers Institute, Phillip's Junior College and Salt Lake Community College to allow the students to enroll.
Some of these schools have agreed to accept credit transfer and waive tuition for those who have paid tuition to the Wasatch Career Institute, he said.
"It's always been our philosophy to pitch in and help students," Cowan said. "Frankly, I'm very proud of the schools here in the valley, with the way they have grouped together so that there would not be a loss of money or a loss of career goals to the students of the Wasatch Career Institute."
Cowan said Salt Lake Community College will not waive the tuition students have paid the institute because it is a public school, but college representatives told students they will consider fee waivers and other options.
Wasatch Career Institute is owned by a company based in San Antonio, Texas, and local management said the financial problems originate there. Students have requested to review the company's financial records, but the owners of the company have told them they must obtain those records in Texas, they say.