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Regency Beauty Institute Abruptly Closes

Without warning, Minnesota-based Regency Beauty Institute announced on Wednesday that it was permanently closing the doors of all of its 79 campuses, including its schools in Winston-Salem, Durham and Charlotte. 

At the Charlotte Regency Beauty Institute in the Ayrsley neighborhood, the doors are locked and the lights are off. An employee who answered the telephone said they found out at the end of the day Wednesday in a conference call that the school was permanently closing. She says they were told they would get a memo soon to address any concerns.

A letter-sized paper taped to the front door says the school is closed permanently as of Thursday and tells current cosmetology students the hours they can pick up their personal items over the next two days. It directs them to the more than 50-year-old company’s website, where a statement says Regency closed because the company ran out of money and could not continue to operate. It cites declining enrollment and attacks on for-profit schools by regulators and politicians as reasons they could not secure additional financing.

A statement on the website says agreements are being worked out with other schools close by where students can complete their training, but so far, no schools are listed in any of the 19 states where Regency has campuses. Students are advised to check with their loan servicers to see if they qualify to have their loans forgiven or transferred.

Regency is the second for-profit school to close in recent weeks. ITT Technical Institute, which had a campus in Charlotte, closed all of its schools in 38 states, after the Education Department barred it from federal financial aid programs.