- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

BRISTOL, Va. (AP) - A private culinary school in Bristol has closed its doors.

The Southeast Culinary Institute shut down Sunday. The school’s cafeteria and catering business at the Bristol Mall also closed.

Founder and president Richard Erskine tells The Bristol Herald Courier (http://bit.ly/1xtf6Aa ) that he couldn’t work out a dispute with the U.S. Department of Education. He says the agency owes him about $300,000 in student tuition and other expenses.

Enrollment at the for-profit school plunged after it lost its federal accreditation in April 2014. The loss of federal accreditation meant students no longer qualified for federal student loan assistance.

Erskine established the school in 2005. He moved it to a former cafeteria in the mall in May 2014.

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Information from: Bristol Herald Courier, http://www.bristolnews.com

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