Vatterott College, L’Ecole Culinaire close Memphis campuses suddenly

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A student reads the note on the closed door of the closed L’Ecole Culinaire campus on Germantown Parkway on Monday.

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mid-South college students are at a loss as Vatterott College suddenly closes its doors, nationwide.

The for-profit vocational school has 2,300 students at 19 locations in nine states, including three campuses in Memphis.

Many of those students came to Vatterott's Appling Farms campus and its culinary school, L'Ecole Culinaire on Germantown Parkway, on Monday and saw the doors were locked.

They also saw a letter on the door that says the school is closing, effective immediately.

The state is helping displaced students. Follow the link here for information.

A spokesperson for the College System of Tennessee said Southwest Tennessee Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Memphis have similar programs, and are working to reach out to Vatterott students.

"It's some crap, we all work very hard," student Jesus Estrada said. "Me, I'm about to graduate in like 10 weeks so that's very close to graduation."

The note on the door says the college signed a letter of intent for a buyer to purchase Vatterott, but says the Department of Education added new restrictions to the school's participation in the federal aid program, and they cant continue under these restrictions.

"They never called us, they never said anything, we're just now finding out," Estrada said.

He says he already spent $10,000 for his education at the vocational school.

"We worked hard all year, we have a year and half and I'm almost done and it's a lot of money to come here."

Some students say they aren't able to get loans and have to work to attend class.

A separate letter to teachers states they will no longer have health insurance after Monday. All three schools in Memphis have been on probation since September this year for their accreditation.

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