Wichita college suddenly closes, hundreds of students left in limbo

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Board of Regents announced on Tuesday afternoon that Heritage College was shutting down its two Kansas facilities.

Heritage College in Wichita had a sign posted on its door Tuesday saying, “It is with great disappointment that we announce that Heritage College and Heritage Institute are permanently closing on November 1, 2016. The closure will affect all 30 campuses.”

The sign then goes onto says, “The reason for the campus closures is that Heritage does not have the cash to continue to run its business. Numerous factors contributed to the circumstances including declining student population and a continued, decreased demand for the services of for-profit schools.” The letter also states the college did not close because of any wrongdoing and the campus was not forced to close by a regulatory body.

On Tuesday afternoon, several current Heritage students went to the Wichita campus to try and get answers. They were greeted by the closed sign and locked doors.

“They threw a letter on the door and all just disappeared like they are afraid to face us. No warning, no nothing, just gone,” said Heritage College student Stephanie Hermreck.

“It’s disheartening. It’s sad. I’m very angry about it. I just don’t know what to do,” said Heritage College student Machelle Hatter.

One student said she went to the college on Tuesday morning to fill out her graduation papers. She said the staff did not mention the closure and said they would call her with more information regarding graduation.

Another student said she got an email from the school on Tuesday morning, but there was no mention of the closure.

“I was supposed to graduate in three weeks. I just got an email from my instructor that I was supposed to graduate on the 16th,” said Heritage Student Cynthia Laymon.

Laymon, who was studying to be a veterinarian technician, said her education at Heritage cost her about $30,000.

“Thirty-thousand dollars is a lot of money to go for school when we don’t even know if I am going to get my degree now,” Laymon said. “It was a lot of hard work to do all of this, a lot of money invested and now where is it going to go, what is going to happen to it? Am I going to get it back? Probably not.”

“It’s been a struggle and I have been waiting to graduate so that I could do something and now it was all for nothing,” said Hermreck.

KSN reached out to Heritage College and has not heard back.

The Board of Regents said they will be working with Heritage College to handle transcripts for current and past students.

Wichita Technical Institute (WTI) told KSN it will also work with current Heritage students on transferring credits and getting them enrolled at WTI.