Heritage Institute closes in Jacksonville

Students at a loss as for-profit school closes without warning

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students and staff want answers after another for-profit college has abruptly closed its doors. Heritage Institute shut down all 10 campuses across the country Tuesday, with virtually no warning.

That includes a campus in Jacksonville, located on Salisbury Road, just off Interstate 95 in Southpoint.
Those students are scrambling to figure out what to do.

School officials said they simply don't have the cash to stay open. They said not as many students are signing up, and the demand for this type of school just isn't there.

Students were met with a note taped to the door saying, "...it's with great disappointment that we announce the schools are permanently closing..."

The note listed other for-profit schools in the area, but students and staff said they really don't know what to do at this point.

Kristine Hertzog, who would have graduated in March, said she was devastated by the news.

"Every day, Monday through Friday, waking up early, coming here, sacrificing job opportunities to get
my education, and now, I feel like all my hard work has been for waste,” Hertzog said. "I've spoken to one professor who said even though it's not her fault, she feels responsible. She wants to see what she can try to do to help us."

Another student said this was her chance to start over and support her children.

"I was almost finished with all my anatomy classes. I was keeping a straight A in all my classes," Aileen Davis said. "And I was trying to excel. I see it as starting all over again."

Heritage Institute offered courses related to the medical field, including medical and dental assistant training, fitness training, and massage therapy.

The note that was posted on the door was also posted on the website. In it, the school indicated closing was not an easy decision.

Officials wrote: "Heritage did not close due to wrongdoing or a forced closure by a regulatory body, and we did explore a range of options that would have enabled the campuses to remain open serving students.Unfortunately, the options were not viable and our efforts proved unsuccessful. We thank our faculty, staff and, mostly, our students. They had the courage to pursue a new career path, and we were honored to help them achieve their goals."

Also in that note, school officials said that anyone with questions can email them at heritage.info@heritage-education.net.

Heritage Institute is the third for-profit college to shut down in the last few months. ITT Technical Institute closed its doors in early September. Regency Beauty Institute closed just a couple weeks later.

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