Mt. Sierra College students stunned by Monrovia school's sudden closure

MONROVIA, Calif. (KABC) -- Stunning news for students and faculty at Mt. Sierra College - the school has now closed.

"I almost thought it was a joke. But it was no joke," said rising senior Ben Howard.

Mt. Sierra College in Monrovia abruptly shut down this week citing a lack of money.

"We were so close to completing our schooling, and all of a sudden the school closes," said Howard.

There appears to be a lot of blame to go around. The owners of the for-profit technical college, Chinese investment company Wellsland LLC, say they bought a lemon, having never been told about problems at Mt. Sierra.

The company pumped in millions of dollars, installed new administrators and tried to right the ship. But the school went on probation and lost accreditation two weeks ago.

The U.S.-China trade war also had an impact.

Mt. Sierra's director of human resources Jeffrey Sandwell said, "The administration of education in Beijing has denied any further transfer of monies to the owner because of the issues with the United States and China currently."

All of that means the 125 students and 75 staff have to go.

Rising senior Axa Lopez said, "I'll see if I can go to another university, see if they can take in some of my credits. And if that doesn't happen, then I may have to stop going to school for the moment."

Howard said, "It seems like I'm going to have to wait a little longer to get my diploma but schoolings not done for me."

The question for former Mt. Sierra students is where they will continue their education. Many Mt. Sierra credits will not transfer to other schools.

Mt. Sierra College says it will forgive $100,000 in third party loans. And the owners are also discussing whether to sue the previous owners.
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