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Regency Beauty schools close nationwide, including 5 in Minn.

ST. PAUL--A Minnesota-based beauty school abruptly has closed all 79 campuses across the country. Regency Beauty Institute schools included five, serving about 430 students, in Minnesota: Duluth, Blaine, Burnsville, Maplewood and St. Cloud. "It i...

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In tears at the news that Regency Beauty Institute had shuttered its doors, Delaney DeLoyd of Duluth throws her arms around fellow student Jordan Salmi of EskoThursday afternoon. The store, part of a national chain of beauty schools, abruptly locked its doors and posted a message on Facebook that the company was out of money. Students there paid tuitions of $20,000 to study to be hairstylists. (Bob King / Forum News Service)

ST. PAUL-A Minnesota-based beauty school abruptly has closed all 79 campuses across the country.

Regency Beauty Institute schools included five, serving about 430 students, in Minnesota: Duluth, Blaine, Burnsville, Maplewood and St. Cloud.

"It is with great sadness that we announce that after more than 50 years of educating cosmetology students, Regency Beauty Institute is permanently closing on September 28, 2016," the for-profit school said on its website Thursday.

"We are truly sorry for the abrupt nature of this information," Regency's website said.

"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."

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The St. Louis Park-based Regency, a for-profit business, emphasized that it was not closing because of wrongdoing. "The environment is simply not one that allows us to remain open."

Regency's website provides information for students about how to transfer to other schools.

State officials say they are working to minimize problems students face.

Officials at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners say they are working with the school to secure students records, assist with transfers to other schools and ease financial hardship caused by the closing.

"There are state and federal resources available to help students impacted by a sudden school closure, including possible student refunds and federal loan forgiveness," said Commissioner Larry Pogemiller of the Office of Higher Education. "Our office is working with both Regency and the board to make this information available to students as soon as possible, and moving forward, to help them continue their program at another school."

Current students and those who left Regency in the last 120 days could be eligible for financial help.

Pogemiller said people may seek more information by calling his office at 651-259-3965 or the cosmetologist board at 651-201-2742. They may email betsy.talbot@state.mn.us or bce.board@state.mn.us .

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