Cosmetology school closes without warning students

Institute says all 79 campuses closed across US

SAN ANTONIO – Some local cosmetology students are scrambling after the Regency Beauty Institute suddenly shut down without notice. The students said they found out via email and Facebook on Wednesday night.

It's not just here in San Antonio. The company confirmed on its website that 79 campuses were closed across the country.

On Thursday, dozens of students went to the Regency Beauty Institute, located at 309 Northwest Loop 410, to pick up their belongings.

Student Lexy Hyatt said she and her classmates only had a few hours on Thursday to clear the building after they found out on Facebook that their school had been permanently shut down.

"The worst part for me is no notice," Hyatt said. "They had to know this was coming, and they could have helped us with a lot more warning.”

Lexie Heaviland said she was in class on Wednesday afternoon and she had no idea what was about to happen, even the campus managers were caught off guard.

"All of a sudden, we get a note at 8 o'clock at night, saying we don't have school the next day," Heaviland said. "That's probably the most frustrating part, because we couldn't get a hold of anyone to confirm that."

On the school’s website, the institute posted this note:

“It is with great sadness that we announce that after more than 50 years of educating cosmetology students, Regency Beauty Institute is permanently closing on September 28, 2016. This closure affects all 79 campuses.

“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.”

Students who have already paid for tuition and supplies said they only hope now that they will be able to transfer their hours.

"I only have five months left, so I wasn't really thrilled about it," Heaviland said. "I know a couple of students who were graduating next week."

But even if they can transfer, Hyatt and Heaviland said the family they had at the school has been torn apart.

"It's incredibly inconvenient," Hyatt said. "It's really heartbreaking because everybody here really loved each other."

The Regency Beauty Institute only has one location in San Antonio. Students will also have an opportunity to get their things on Friday.

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