BEAUMONT, Texas — Less than a week after Vista College closed its doors, the for-profit college chain has now filed for bankruptcy.
A class-action lawsuit has also been filed on behalf of students who were in the middle of their degrees.
One student said she was shocked when the school closed with no warning, and no help when it comes to transferring credits or being refunded.
"They changed people's lifestyles,” said former Vista College student Andrea Bryant. “They told people to quit their jobs, the nursing program is intense you really can't work and do this at the same time."
False promises leading to a dead end.
"They, for their own profit, put a lot of people in a lot of debt, and in positions that they might not be able to come back from," Bryant said.
Less than a week after closing its doors without notice, Vista College has filed for bankruptcy.
"If you and I wanted to go declare bankruptcy, certain things like our student loans wouldn't go away, so we're carved out as not as special as corporations so I was disgusted of course," said Mark Sparks, ownership partner at Ferguson Law Firm.
Sparks is a lawyer with Ferguson Law Firm and will represent students and faculty from Vista College in a class-action lawsuit. But now, that'll have to wait.
"Now that they're in bankruptcy court in Delaware, what they're gonna say is we don’t have any money to give you,” Sparks said. “Well, the question we’re here to answer for the students and to answer for this community and El Paso and other locations is what did you do with the money? What did you do with it? That's what we're here to find out."
Sparks said for-profit schools like this are a widespread issue.
"These equity investors and these vulture capitalist funds that come in and they buy these schools, but they're really not interested in being part of the school or keeping the school. They're school flippers."
Sparks' team recently fought a case just like this, at Brightwood College in Beaumont, it shut down, and had students transferring to Vista College.
"So, we may actually encounter unfortunately and sadly, some Brightwood students who have twice been injured, twice been victimized, by this type of poor-profit school flipping," Sparks said.
"I think a lot of people don’t know what to do right now. It took us all off guard,” Bryant said.
Lamar Institute of Technology's president confirmed it's opening the school's doors to former Vista College students.