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Regency Beauty schools close nationwide, including 5 in Minn.

The Regency Beauty Institute in Burning Tree Plaza abruptly locked its doors Thursday, taking down their website and posting the message that the company is out of money. 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, Sept. 29.

"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."

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 or

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.