Daniel Webster College, founded in 1965, one of New Hampshire’s thirteen colleges, has declared bankruptcy after a turbulent seven year ownership by ITT Educational Services, Inc., the parent company of ITT Technical Institutes.
At the start of a new academic year, approximately 740 students enrolled at Daniel Webster College were faced with the closing of their college. Daniel Webster College students join approximately 40,000 other students affected nationwide by the closure of ITT’s 130 campuses. Nearly 8,000 employees were also affected. (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/09/07/itt-tech-shuts-down-all-campuses)
ITT Educational Services, Inc. purchased Daniel Webster College in 2009 for $40 million; in 2010, ITT terminated the college’s signature flight program.
According to Paul Fain, ITT was “facing a raft of state and federal investigations as well as financial problems” (https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2016/09/06/accreditation-trouble-itts-daniel-webster-college).
In August 2016, the U.S. Department of Education disallowed ITT Educational Services from enrolling new students who require federal financial aid after the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools threatened to revoke the company’s accreditation at its 130 campuses for non-compliance with accreditation criteria. Subsequently, the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education ordered an Emergency Decision mandating that ITT Educational Services cease enrolling new students, a decision impacting all academic programs at fifteen different locations in California (http://www.bppe.ca.gov/enforcement/actions/emergency_decision20160826.pdf). The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the regional accreditor for Daniel Webster College, warned of the removal of its accreditation.
Addressing students of ITT on the official blog of the Department of Education, Education Department Secretary John B. King, Jr. explained, “Ultimately, we made a difficult choice to pursue additional oversight in order to protect you, other students, and taxpayers from potentially worse educational and financial damage in the future if ITT was allowed to continue operating without increased oversight and assurances to better serve students.” (https://blog.ed.gov/2016/09/message-secretary-education-itt-students/)
With the closure of Daniel Webster College, students were faced with two options: to restart their education and have their ITT-related federal loans discharged or to transfer their existent college credits to another school but possibly continue to carry their ITT-related federal loans. (https://blog.ed.gov/2016/09/message-secretary-education-itt-students/)
Southern New Hampshire University, a private, nonprofit university located in Manchester, NH, a city locatedto the north of the Nashua-based Daniel Webster College, offered to assist the faculty and students of the closing college by facilitating a teach-out.
For the current academic year, Southern New Hampshire University is honoring tuition and fees of current Daniel Webster students. Students who meet “minimum admission requirements” can “continue their coursework through SNHU” after the end of this academic year. (https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2016/09/14/southern-new-hampshire-u-teach-out-itt-owned-daniel-webster). Southern New Hampshire University has also continued to employ Daniel Webster faculty during the current academic year and is endeavoring to hire the college’s faculty for after this academic year.