With the closure of the six campus medical school, Dade Medical College students were left confused and without answers.
The school closed its doors on the students, leaving many of them thousands of dollars in debt and with zero college credits to show for it.
After many months of scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Education and overwhelming debt, the unaccredited college closed its doors.
Announcing its closure with an e-mail sent to each student, professor and administrator, many were left with more questions than answers.
There was no explanation as to why the school closed, which added to the teachers’ and students’ confusion.
Ernesto Perez, the founder of the college, was a powerful lobbyist in Tallahassee as well as in local politics, wielding influence over politicians in Miami.
However, he lost his influence when he was indicted for the illegal bundling of money to political campaigns, and later plead guilty to the charge.
This, and the accumulation of debt, as well as problems with the Department of Education, caused the eventual and sudden closing of the school.
The closing affected around 2,000 students, some of those students being parents of students at MAST.
Sergio Alvarez Sr. (father of junior Sergio Alvarez Jr.), was one of those affected, and his sentiment was shared by many other students.
“I felt frustrated, I felt as if at that moment all the effort that I’ve put forth that year was lost, and that my friends and I had not only lost our money but also the chance to accomplish our dreams,” Alvarez said about the school’s closure.
The faculty was no less confused; Alvarez said that he repeatedly asked the faculty, “What happens now?” without receiving much of an answer.
Fortunately for Alvarez, he was able to find a school that was willing to accept his credits.
“I searched for schools that would accept my infirmary credits, and I was able to find one,” Alvarez said.
Other students were not as lucky.
Many of Alvarez’s friends and colleagues are looking for a college that will accept their credits.
“We will keep searching, we don’t know what else to do,” Alvarez continued.
Fortunately for some, the students might not have to pay for all the academic loans they took out to pay for the school.
According to Alvarez, the government is offering to pardon any academic loans of those students who continue to study.
But for those students who can not find a college, such a pardon would be of no use.
For those who have not found a college to transfer to, the question remains, “What happens now?”
They believe that most of the work they did was in vain; and those students who are single fathers and mothers, or of a lower income do not have many opportunities available, the reprecussions of this will be felt.