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Frustration mounts over possible school shutdown

UPDATE: The school’s board of trustees issued a statement around 2:30, to its Facebook page. In it, it assures students that classes going on now and up to Aug. 30 will not be impacted. And, the board is looking at appealing the decision, pursuing legal options in regards to the loss of accreditation or merging the school with another institution.  Read the full statement here.

Students past and present have been using Facebook to not only seek answers but also voice frustration about the possible closing of Baltimore International College, a non-profit school that trains students for careers in the culinary and hospitality industries.

The school, which has about 500 students and about as many faculty,  is in the process of losing a vital accreditation that would make it ineligible for federal student loan aid, which nearly half of the students get. If they can’t figure out a way around the loss of accreditation it could very well be the end of the school.

Since the story first appeared in The Baltimore Sun, students have been alternating between anger and uncertainty about what was going on with their school. Students and alumni as well as faculty have been kept in the dark as Baltimore International College’s officials and board of trustees hunkered down to figure out what to do.

Some have expressed the desire to go to another school and take parting shots at the college:

“I would like to thank Baltimore International College for taking my 35000 last year and now wiping their hands clean of every student that paid each and every teacher and instructor salary. Almost seems like fraud to allow students to attend an institution that doesn’t even know if they can open their doors the following year,” one student wrote.

The school’s official Facebook page has been the only portal of communication open to students and faculty since The Sun reported Wednesday about the possible closure of the school. Since that time the only response from the school, posted to the site, said the school’s board of trustees was meeting Wednesday and an announcement would be made on Thursday.

By 2 p.m. on Thursday though no announcement had been made and students past and present were voicing their frustration on the Facebook page. One student lamented the only information she was getting was from “hitting the refresh button” repeatedly.

“Any word on what time the statement will post? Early morning would be most professional,” read one post.

“I’ve been very understanding that it can take some time to get a public statement together to post online or whereever but I just went onto the Student Portal and my Leadership Grant has been cancelled. A few fellow students I know are seeing the same thing with their Financial Aid….so before people get extremely even more upset than they already are I think we need to hear from the school and get the offical word which should have happened before anything was changed on student accounts and conclusions are drawn.”

One student posted that she had tried calling the registration office only to speak to employees there unsure if they’re even going to have a job after today.

“They are all in the same situation as all of us. They don’t know anything yet and are awaiting information whether they have jobs or not. Rumors are rampant but the official word is what we all are waiting for.”

Some students posted positive remarks to try and calm others concerned about whether they would finish their programs and others concerned about the impact the school’s closing would have on the degrees they already received.

“To all students of BIC dont let here say let this situation make or break you. Those that are negative will be that way because its there outlook on life regardless. It is those who are using this situation to make excuses and shield the fact that they were slacking anyway,” reads one post.

“I am a product of the school as well (I attended twice when it was called BICAI, then BICC), I am sorry to see this happen. I hope the school can come back as the school I remember back when I first went there in 1982,” one alumnus wrote.

Other students cautioned against calling the school, saying the employees — whose jobs are on the line as well — were being inundated by callers trying to find out what was happening.

“If anything. For now, please don’t call the school!!! Ms. Carol and Caroline, Financial Aid, Accountants, Registrar, etc are on the same boat. None of them are board of directors, they don’t know anything more than we do. Let them be until we get details too,” reads one post.