Indiana schools offer incentives to former ITT Tech students

ITT Educational Services headquarters in Carmel, Ind., is shown Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. The company, which operates vocational schools, announced "with profound regret" in a statement Tuesday that it is ending academic operations at all of its more than 130 campuses across 38 states. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
ITT Educational Services headquarters in Carmel, Ind., is shown Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. The company, which operates vocational schools, announced "with profound regret" in a statement Tuesday that it is ending academic operations at all of its more than 130 campuses across 38 states. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Several Indiana colleges and universities have offered incentives to attract students who were displaced by ITT Technical Institute’s failure.

Disparate policies among the institutions’ acceptance of transfer credits highlight the tough decisions former ITT students will face when choosing which school to attend or whether to continue their education at all.

Ivy Tech Community College is among the schools hoping to bring in some students who were attending ITT when Carmel-based ITT Educational Services Inc. folded. The federal government had said it no longer would allow students receiving federal aid to enroll after ITT was found out of compliance with its accrediting agency two times.

Ivy Tech won’t accept transfer credits from ITT, but to make itself more attractive, the community college is planning to waive test-out fees for ITT students and offer loan forgiveness to ITT students who previously attended Ivy Tech.

The shutdown affected more than 1,000 students and nearly 700 workers in Indiana as well as thousands more nationwide.

Travis Gabbard, 37, was about to begin his second year studying computer network administration at ITT.

“I was kind of shocked it happened as quickly as it did,” he said.

He said he’s struggling to find a comparable program that gives him hands-on training and accepts the college credits he’s already earned.

“I’ve got 53 credits at ITT with a 4.0 (grade point average),” Gabbard said. “I don’t want to start over and have paid for all that and can’t use it.”

He is considering enrolling at an online program, Ivy Tech or Kaplan University, a for-profit college similar to ITT.

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