Marinello Schools of Beauty closing all 56 campuses nationwide
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Cosmetology students were supposed to be in class Thursday at the Marinello School of Beauty on Market Street in San Francisco, but when they arrived, they were told the school was shutting down all 56 campuses across the country.
"This is my life. I do this for my son. I relied on this school and they gave me nothing," said cosmetology student Joy Ortega.
Teachers too said they received no warning. 800 employees are losing their jobs.
"At this point what can I do but file for unemployment or look for another job," said former teacher Michelle Russ.
After 110 years, Marinello says it is being forced to close after the Department of Education cut off all federal student loans and grants.
The agency says Marinello, which also has campuses in Hayward and Castro Valley, had knowingly requested federal financial aid for students with invalid high school diplomas. It also claims the school charged excessive fees for overtime classes.
A spokesman for the beauty college denied any wrongdoing.
"We have evidence proving we are in compliance," said Marinello spokesman Joe Hixson.
But that's of little consequence to this skin care student who says she was just weeks from graduating.
"I'm disappointed. I'm upset for me and my classmates. We were really expecting to graduate," said student Aloni Green.
Marinello says it will work with its 4,300 students on placing them in other programs.