HOUSTON (KTRK) --Regency Beauty Institute announced it is permanently closing all 79 campuses.
There are multiple campuses in Houston. According to the company's website,
"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."
At the Regency campus in northwest Houston, dozens of students arrived Thursday morning to locked doors.
Andrea Kelly, 19, told Eyewitness News other cosmetology schools will not accept all of the hours she has earned at Regency.
"Right now I am just stressed out, trying to figure out what's the next step, like where do I go from here?" Kelly said, "And just heartbroken, really sad."
For students affected by the closure, there may be another option.
Houston Community College says there are plans to allocate efforts to support students from Regency. The college offers a Cosmetology program at several locations with plans to offer a course for Regency students at the HCC Katy campus, according to a press release.
HCC says the class would start at the beginning of the second eight weeks of the semester. Affected students are asked to call HCC's Department of Cosmetology at 713-718-7527.