CHICAGO (CBS) — Students at Argosy University were given 48 hours notice this week before the nonprofit university closed its doors for good Friday after failing to find a new buyer.
Hundreds of graduate students in the Chicago area were left stunned.
“We are literally in the middle of midterms,” student Lauren Jackson said. “I just submitted my midterm report, just received a new one to start working on this weekend.”
Jackson was in the process of getting her doctorate in clinical psychology at Argosy. She said students and faculty were given 48 hours’ notice to pack up and leave the S. Michigan Ave. campus.
“Faculty with bookbags and suitcases because our faculty had to pack up their stuff, pack up their work, and go,” she said. “It was devastating.”
Argosy is a nonprofit institution with more than 15,000 students across the country. The Chicago campus had 475 students attending.
Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Education pulled its federal student funds after Argosy failed to give more then $9 million in financial aid to its students.
Instead the money went to payroll, leaving students like Jackson and Meghan Curtin scrambling.
Curtin says she is owed between $6,000 and $7,000.
Late Friday Sen. Dick Durbin and 12 other U.S. senators sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy Devos urging immediate assistance to students.
In a statement Durbin said, “After wasting millions of tax dollars and crippling thousands of students with debt, Argosy is expected to imminently close its doors. When will this administration stop subsidizing these worthless vultures?”
Jackson, who said she’s owed $10,000, said she’s not going away quietly.
“We worked really hard,” she said. “We worked really, really hard to get into this school, and we deserve the best.”
Court appointed receiver Mark Dottore said in a statement, “We are extremely disappointed with this outcome but continue to provide services to students to help them transition to one of the dozens of higher education institutions offering assistance to them or, where they choose to do so, to apply for student loan discharge.”