- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas-based Wright Career College folded Friday, looking to liquidate its assets in bankruptcy after abruptly closing its five campuses in three states.

The Overland Park-based nonprofit filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kansas City, Kansas, under its corporate name of Mission Group Kansas Inc. It estimated liabilities and assets each of $1 million to $10 million, and creditors numbering between 1,000 and 5,000.

The closures affect campuses in the Kansas cities of Overland Park and Wichita, as well as Omaha, Nebraska, and Tulsa and Oklahoma City in Oklahoma.

The college, which had roughly 3,000 students enrolled during the 2014-2015 fiscal year and in recent weeks stopped accepting new students, largely trained students for jobs as medical assistants, accountants and other business occupations. Founded in 1921 to train typists, it originally was known as Dickinson Business School.

The college said in an email to students Thursday night that “with our deepest regret” it no longer was able to operate. On Friday, the company said in a statement on the college’s website that “a number of schools” are open to accepting Wright students’ credits.

“We are saddened by these events,” Wright president John Mucci said in the statement. “From our beginning in 1921 until our closure, we have always operated with the focus of putting the interests of our students first. It is unfortunate our students cannot complete their programs at Wright Career College.”

Hundreds of Wright students and graduates have joined in a 2013 lawsuit against the college, accusing the school of “a systematic, deceptive marketing scheme” to entice students to enroll and apply for student loans they can’t pay back. The lawsuit, which seeks a refund of the students’ tuition and unspecified damages, also claimed Wright deceived students about attendance costs, employment prospects and the value of the school’s accreditation.

At the time it was filed, the company called the lawsuit’s claims “absurd” and that the college never guaranteed students post-graduation employment.

The status of that lawsuit was not immediately clear Friday.

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