Chain abruptly closes 11 Texas cosmetology schools, 79 nationwide
School operated more than 50 years
Students from the Regency Beauty Institute are scrambling to figure out their futures after the school abruptly announced on its website it is "permanently closing September 28, 2016."
The Minnesota-based beauty school had 79 campuses in 19 states. Twelve of those campuses were in Texas, with more than 500 students.
The school had been in business for over 50 years.
“It’s just really upsetting,” said Sophia Hollman, who was just 30 credit hours away from graduating at the Copperwood campus in northwest Harris County.
Hollman said she just paid the school $1,000 last week. She and a couple dozen students showed up to the campus Thursday afternoon to collect their beauty supplies. “This was my chance to provide for my family and with them shutting the school down like this I’m stuck out,” Hollman said.
“I really don’t know what I’m going to do at this point,” said Mia Whittier, who was set to graduate in November. “It’s very depressing!”
Students said they were notified of the closure by an automated phone call or text message Wednesday evening. Many were in class Wednesday and had no idea the school would be closing.
Regency posted this statement to their website:
"This is incredibly difficult news for everyone affected: especially our students, teachers, and staff. We recognize that some of you may be finding this out for the first time by reading this. We are truly sorry for the abrupt nature of this information."
"How did this happen? In short, the organization does not have the cash to continue to run the business. There are multiple intertwined reasons: declining numbers of cosmetology students nationwide, a negative characterization of for-profit education by regulators and politicians that continues to worsen and, in light of these factors, an inability to obtain continued financing."
"This is not another case of a school being forced to shut down because it was accused of wrongdoing. We held ourselves to high educational and ethical standards. The environment is simply not one that allows us to remain open. We diligently explored a range of strategic options that would benefit our students, teachers, and staff — and allow us to remain open. Unfortunately, those efforts were not successful."
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation said that so far, 19 other credited schools across the state have said they can take the students in.
Students who need help can call the TDLR service division at: 1-800-803-9202. Be ready to provide your name, student permit number, current phone number and what you need help with.
The TDLR said it’s possible some students may be reimbursed through the Private Beauty Culture School Tuition Protection Account. The TDLR collects fees from each cosmetology school that go into the fund.