The Marinello Schools of Beauty on Thursday announced the permanent closure of its 56 campuses nationwide, including 18 in Southern California, days after the U.S. Department of Education moved to cut federal funding to almost two dozen of the company’s locations.
The for-profit school’s campuses will close Thursday in California, Nevada and Utah, and its sites in Kansas and Nevada will shut down on Friday, the business said in a news release.
“Our priority now is to provide the best possible outcome for our students,” the statement said. “We are working closely with our state educational agencies, our accrediting commission, and well-respected schools to provide a smooth transition for our students so they are able to complete their education and achieve the life they have worked so hard for.”
The closure affected 1,647 cosmetology students in Southern California, who were among about 4,300 enrolled at Marinello locations across the U.S., according to the company and the Department of Education. Some 800 employees lost their jobs in the shutdown.
The announcement comes three days after the Education Department ended participation in federal student financial aid programs for 23 of the private school's campuses -- including 14 in Los Angeles, two in Burbank and two in Moreno Valley, citing “serious violations.”
Marinello was “knowingly requesting federal aid for students based on invalid high school diplomas, underawarding Title IV aid to students, charging students for excessive overtime, and engaging in other acts of misrepresentation,” according to a statement issued Monday by the agency.
In its own news release, the school denied the accusations and insisted that federal education officials had “waited until we were past the point of no return financially to allow us any opportunity to respond to its unfounded allegations.”
The shuttering of the 110-year-old company has left students scrambling to get their academic affairs in order.
In a letter sent to California students Thursday morning, Marinello Chairman and CEO Rashed Elyas confirmed the cessation of operations with “great sadness and regret.”
According to the letter, on-campus meetings have been scheduled for next week, when displaced students can receive their official transcripts, financial aid paperwork, state contacts and proof of training.