Students at the Capri Institute are looking for answers after teachers told students they were closing for 30 days and told them to remove their belongings.
The School of Cosmetology was founded by Helmut E. Muenster in 1961 and currently has four locations in Brick, Clifton, Kenilworth and Paramus, where the school is located. Relative Michelle Leonard of Toms River told New Jersey 101.5 that her daughter Haley, 20, and the Brick students were called to a meeting with teachers on December 1.
âThey were told to pack their bags and go. They were going to close for 30 days,â Leonard said. “At that time, teachers said they had not received any paychecks in the past few weeks.”
Leonard said students were told it was because of COVID-19 protocols, but no one is aware of anyone who tested positive.
Students were also given transcripts without a signature or seal, making them unofficial.
âTechnically, they would still be enrolled in a school program that they are not participating in, which makes it difficult to transfer,â Leonard said.
Complaints to the State
The state’s Consumer Affairs Division told New Jersey 101.5 that it has received 12 consumer complaints against the Capri Institute since December 1, 2021.
“All of these are open and under review. The division is aware that the Capri Institute sites appear to be closed at the moment,” spokeswoman Gema DeLasHeras said. âConsumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file an online complaint with the Division by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242- 5846 to receive a complaint form by email. “
The school did not respond to requests from New Jersey 101.5 on all four sites for more information. Calls will not be routed to the Capri headquarters number. The school’s website always advertises an open house on all campuses on January 11 and classes starting January 3.
Capri student Hayley Leonard drove to the school in The Brick two days after the announcement for answers and found no one in the building on Brick Boulevard. There was no further communication from the school and phone calls went unanswered.
Michelle Leonard said there was no sense of any issues at The Brick’s location until the December 1 meeting except for one thing.
“Everything was normal until this meeting, with the exception of one bathroom that had not been repaired in weeks. The entire student body was using a bathroom in the institution,” Michelle Leonard.
Jump to a conclusion?
The school’s lack of communication created a lot of questions about the future. The Leonard searches for official documents from the school outlining their plan to resolve their current issues. There is also the issue of tuition fees and student loans.
âThey used her FAFSA money for this semester. They took her money, not mine. Over $ 3,000. And that’s exactly what she put in. There are other students who put in a lot. more, âsaid Michelle Leonard. “It’s nothing that comes back to us.”
Michelle Leonard said Haley felt lost and disheartened by the situation. She graduated with the Class of 2020 at Toms River South, which was mostly remote due to the pandemic and didn’t have a good initial college experience.
âShe took all of her money and put it in a program that she wanted to move forward in. She wanted to study, learn a trade, and open her own business. Right now she is thinking, ‘What a is the next step because i’m just sitting here? Said Michelle Leonard.
Help from another school?
Paul Mitchell The School Jersey Shore, a cosmetology school also located in The Brick, said on her Facebook page that she had heard many Capri students talking about a transfer and offered them help.
“We are saddened to learn of the unfolding situation regarding the Capri campuses. Students – our hearts go out to you. We have empathy for what you are going through and we are here to support you,” he said. he adds. students to contact them.
A school spokeswoman declined to comment on New Jersey 101.5 about Capri.
U.S. Senator Robert Mendendez, D-NJ, who offered to help students at Star Career Academy when that school closed in 2016, has again offered a helping hand.
âComplaints like this one, where a tuition payment is not reimbursed by an institution that has gone out of business, are both troubling and one that we take seriously. Our office is ready to help those in New Jersey affected by this situation, âsaid Menendez at New Jersey 101.5.