Students Demand Answers as Bryman College Files for Bankruptcy, Closes Campuses

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Bryman College students were demanding answers Monday after learning their school closed all of its campuses since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy days earlier. Michelle Roberts reports. (Published Monday, Jul 28, 2014)

Bryman College students were demanding answers Monday after learning their school closed all of its campuses since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy days earlier.

Bryman College Dean Christopher Finn said in a letter the college shuttered its 11 campuses and all employees lost their jobs.

"I am deeply saddened that Bryman College has closed and will be unable to continue your educational endeavor at this time," the statement read. "As stated by the (CEO) on July 25th, 2014, 'financial problems have reached a point that Biohealth College and Bryman College can no longer stay in business.'"

“It’s depressing and disappointing that the school would do this to everybody,” student Sylvia Sotelo said.

Sotelo landed a job as a dental assistant after completing the Bryman program a couple months ago, but she doesn’t have any proof. “I don’t have any paperwork backing up what I did here.”

She’s worried she’ll be fired before her diploma ever arrives.

No one from BioHealth, the parent company of Bryman, was at the San Jose campus Monday to face students.

“They’re cowards,” medical assistant student Leticia Mendoza said. She has paid thousands of dollars and doesn’t know if or when she will get it back. “We don’t know if another school will take us. We might have to start all over.”

Staff members from the California Department of Consumer Affairs were on Bryman and BioHealth college campuses Monday to help students with filling out applications for tuition recovery, getting their transcripts and financial aid documents, and providing information about how to get federal loans discharged.

Leeza Rifredi with the California Department of Consumer Affairs was on campus handing out information about the student tuition recovery fund -- a safety net for students who had loans with the state. “Unfortunately most of them will not be able to transfer all of their credits but they may be able to transfer some.”

Students at the college's Los Angeles campus at Wilshire Boulevard crowded the hallways in confusion as Los Angeles police were seen arriving outside.

"Everybody's got questions, and we need them answered," one student shouted. "Not later, today. We need them answered today."

Some students said they received an email on Sunday telling them the school was closed.

"This is my life they're messing with," student Laura Montante said.

"As I am aware that not every student situation is the same, we will do our best to assist everyone as needed," Finn's statement read. "All of the staff and faculty from our campus are saddened by the decision to close all Bryman College locations, but we are committed to assisting you the best we still can."

For students who have already graduated from Bryman, state officials say their diplomas will hold up.

NBC Bay Area attempted to contact the parent company of Bryman, BioHealth, several times, but no one answered the phone.

For more information on what to do during a school closure, students can visit http://www.bppe.ca.gov/students/guide.shtml

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