Students out of thousands of dollars after Brightwood College unexpectedly closes

Brightwood College told students on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 that they would be closing permanently. (Photo: Sinclair Broadcast Group)

Several students are now out of thousands of dollars after they were informed Wednesday morning that their college would be shutting down.

Brightwood College is one of five other chains of college that is owned by Education Corporation of America (ECA).

An article posted at says ECA owns more than 75 campuses and enrolls at least 20,000 students in mostly certificate-granting professional disciplines such as cosmetology, culinary arts and medical and dental assistant programs.

"The shutdown follows years of declining enrollment for the chain. More recently, the privately held company scrambled to turn around its troubled finances by closing about a third of its campuses and pursuing a corporate overhaul through a court-approved receivership. But ECA continued to be dogged by creditors after falling behind on payments and rent for many campus locations. In October the company filed a lawsuit, which was later dismissed, against the U.S. Department of Education in an attempt to maintain its access to federal student aid."

KFDM/FOX4 spoke to Kammie Hunter a single mom of three and a student studying to be a medical assistant at Brightwood's campus in Beaumont says earlier this year students were told by Education Corporation of America that 30 campuses across the country would be closing down by 2020 due to a response to lower student enrollment.

Hunter says she asked Brightwood if she should transfer and their response was no need they will stay open until June 1st.

Brightwood college provided a statement in reference to the school shutting down.

"After many years of training students for new careers, it is with a heavy heart that today we announce that Education Corporation of America (ECA) is closing all its career colleges effective with the completion of the current module or term for most students. We will work with students to ensure access to their transcripts so they can complete their studies at another school. We are proud of our thousands of graduates who have entered the workforce with skills they acquired at our schools along with our faculty and staff who have shown unwavering support for our students. This is not the outcome that we envisioned and is one that we recognize will have a dramatic effect on our students, employees, and many partners."

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