LAKELAND (FOX 13) - Some students have been left in the lurch after Everest University announced it is closing four campuses across Florida, including two in Tampa Bay.
Campuses in Lakeland and Brandon are expected to close within five months.
"It's a slap in the face for everybody really," Angela Adams told FOX 13 News. Adams is a medical billing student in Lakeland.
"It's kinda a bummer," said Karissa Victoria, a massage therapy student.
The school encouraged Lakeland and Brandon students to transfer to its Tampa campus. That means Victoria's commute would triple to an hour each way, adding to her gas bill, as well.
Meanwhile, transfer students will be walking into a school undergoing major changes.
Recently, Everest's parent company, Zenith Education Group, laid off 127 staffers based out of Tampa. The company also says it is thinning out top management.
Dawn Marie Johnson teaches medical billing in Lakeland. Amid the upheaval, she expects to get a job at Everest in Tampa when her job in Lakeland is done. She said, confidently, she believes staffers in Lakeland would be absorbed by the Tampa campus.
Zenith Education Group says it is closing campuses where student enrollment and job placement for graduates is low. Campuses in Pompano Beach and Melbourne are scheduled to close, as well.