On Thursday, officials at Marinello Schools of Beauty announced that they are shutting down campus operations. This decision follows the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement Monday that the institution lost the ability to participate in the federal student aid program.
Marinello graduates struggling to find employment or pay student loan debt our urged to contact a toll free help line at (888) 992-5940. The federal government has instituted two programs which will aid Marinello graduates with either reducing their monthly payment obligations or eliminating their loans altogether.
“Our nations students depend on higher education institutions to prepare them for careers through a quality education. Unfortunately, some schools violate their trust through deceptive marketing practices and defraud taxpayers by giving out student aid inappropriately,” said Under Secretary Ted Mitchell in a statement. “These unscrupulous institutions use questionable business practices or outright lie to both students and the federal government.”
Marinello Schools of Beauty, a for-profit chain owned by B&H Education, is accused of illegally requesting federal financial aid for students with invalid high school diplomas, charging students for excessive overtime and withholding a portion of students’ federal aid. As a result, the government is withholding aid from 23 of the chain’s 56 campuses in Nevada and California that enroll about 2,100 students. The department gave Marinello until Feb. 16 to dispute the findings of their investigation, but also notified Marinello that its participation in federal aid programs would end Feb. 29.
In the 2014-2015 academic year, students enrolled in Marinello received more than $87 million in Pell grants and federal loans.
All Marinello schools were previously placed under tougher oversight known as “heightened cash monitoring.” There are myriad reasons schools can end up on the list, including turning in late financial statements, having accreditation issues or operating with a lot of debt.
Marinello spokesman Joe Hixson said the company has a “long history of compliance,” yet the department has delayed funding for the last two months without specifying allegations of wrongdoing or allowing the company to respond.
“We repeatedly took action to demonstrate to the Department that these circumstances were unsustainable, but it is only now that the Department disclosed to us its unfounded allegations,” Hixson said, in an email. “While we intend to appeal this decision and while Marinello believes it has done nothing wrong and will defend itself vigorously, without the federal funds our students deserve, our operations are at risk.”
“We have helped tens of thousands of deserving students obtain licensure in professional occupations for more than 110 years, but that may end due to these unprecedented and unfounded actions,” Hixson said.
In January, California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education barred Marinello from enrolling new students at any of its 45 locations in the state. The board has accused the school of failing to meet minimum operating standards.
In a news release from the for-profit, Marinello officials said they would work on transfer options for the approximately 4,300 students affected by the closure. Marinello campuses in California, Nevada and Utah will close today, while campuses in Kansas and Connecticut will close Friday.
However, students and former graduates who obtained federal financial aid at the recommendation of Marinello schools may be entitled from relief those payment obligations. Marinello graduates that would like to apply for federal relief from their student loan debt must contact the toll free hotline at (855) 795-6450, which has been setup to assist potential victims of these lending practices.