Imagine working for years toward an education, certificate or degree only to learn part -- or all -- of the effort and money was wasted.
Staff and students are forced to start over at Virginia College. The company that operates the school, Education Corporation of America, announced they are closing their doors Wednesday.
“I feel like they’ve been robbed. I feel like everyone has been very robbed,” said Virginia College cosmetology student Patrick Grham.
Patrick Grham was in his final phase of cosmetology school when he learned his days at Virginia College were numbered and not in a good way.
“We come in thinking it’s a regular school day, or a teacher comes in thinking she’s going to work. She’s clocking in and everyone loses their jobs. They’ve affected hundreds of lives,” Grham said.
The company's website says students can find transcripts, transfer information and contacts lists, but to check back.
First Coast News stopped by the career center to find some answers.
President Don Slayter told First Coast News he found out during a president conference call the school was closing, saying the school's' creditor ACICS had pulled their accreditation citing financial stability concerns.
As for students, depending on the trade, Slayter says credits can transfer to nearby Kaiser College thanks to an agreement with the school.
The school's in talks with Concord, FCC and Daytona College, a cosmetology school to help assist students.
Slayter also says students may qualify for a loan forgiveness program.
All of the school’s staff, roughly 100 teachers and administrators, himself included, will be looking for new jobs.
Grham says he’ll likely fall back on his other skilled trade degrees in electrical, plumbing and carpentry, but is concerned for his classmates.
“For them to have this immediate change and for them to have lost so much at one time that’s really where my pain comes from,” he said.
Students can expect to find information online at the companies website by December 17th according to their website.