MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota beauty school with campuses across the country suddenly closed up shop.
Regency Beauty Institute announced Wednesday that it doesn’t have the cash to keep running its 79 schools, including five in Minnesota.
The St. Louis Park-based school had been teaching cosmetology classes for more than 50 years.
“I’m pretty upset. It came with no warning,” said Molly Deatherage, an enrolled student. “But they say if one door closes, another opens.”
In a statement on Regency Beauty Institute’s website, the school said it made its closing announcement with “great sadness.”
The school says it’s not being forced to shut down because it was accused of wrongdoing. Instead, the school cited declining enrollment and a recent negative light shed on for-profit colleges.
Shannon Christon, who owns a hair salon near the former Maplewood school, said she was surprised by the closing announcement, but said fewer student did appear to be enrolling in classes.
“The enrollment did look down,” she said. “I didn’t see as many students there as I did a year or two ago.”
Regency’s website says it is mailing out transcripts to all of its current students. It also has information on what the school is doing to help students complete their cosmetology programs.
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education is reaching out to other beauty schools to see if Regency’s 430 students in Minnesota can transfer without penalty.
A manager says they may be eligible for tuition refunds or federal loan forgiveness programs.
“It’s sad,” said Christon, the salon owner, “because we need stylists really bad.”
Regency’s cosmetology program cost about $20,000, and took up to two years to complete.
Students have a chance to pick up their personal belongings from Regency campuses from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.