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Help surfaces for Victory University students

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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EAST MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

After a long history of financial struggles, admitting defeat Victory University in East Memphis will be shutting its doors by the end of the spring semester May 2.

MORE: Citing financial issues, Victory University to close

A day after saying it is closing, Victory laid off all but a quarter of its 120-person staff. University officials have said they will let students who are currently enrolled in classes finish out the term, but it's a different story for new students who were to have started classes March 1

Several new students arrived on campus this week for orientation, only to learn the Victory has decided to close. University officials said they won't be taking any new students from this point on, so plans are up in the air for those who were hoping for a fresh start with Victory University.

"My thing is, how could you not know you're going to close?," said Neamon Nesbitt, new Victory University student.

Nesbitt came to Victory U.'s campus armed with a class schedule and orientation packet. But his college career at Victory is already over, before it even started.

"It's not just a sneak up thing, like, 'Oh no! We're closing!,'" he said. "You knew eventually something was going to happen of that nature, so you shouldn't have been trying to get new students and all that."

Other students are in the same boat trying to find answers only to find advisors office doors locked.

"I went to the advisor's office and the doors were locked," Nesbitt said. "I tried to go to the admissions office and their doors are locked. Everybody in there is gone."

But university officials say they're not leaving students in the dark.

"We put together a comprehensive plan, an outreach plan," said Sheryl Weems, Victory University Provost. "So we have an opportunity to invite students in, to come ask questions, to get responses to their questions. All the services you'd expect to be in place for our students, will be in place for our students."

Coming to this final decision after a long history of financial hardship was the "lesser of two evils."

"Rather than having students journey through and then abruptly pull the rug out from under them, this was the best solution," Weems said.

University officials have been in touch with other schools to help students in limbo. So far the University of Memphis, Christian Brothers University, and Union University have all offered support.

"Our goals are to find out where these students are and see what the best pathway to help them finish might be," said Steve McKellips, Director of Admissions with the University of Memphis. "We're going to evaluate their credits and try to provide as many transfer credits as we can to those students."

All three universities have scheduled help sessions this month for students to get help and achieve their dreams of getting that college degree.

"Just for the students here at Victory that were looking forward, not to give up, just keep trying," Weems said.

The University of Memphis said it will open next Saturday, March 22, to help Victory University students who are looking to transfer to U of M.

In addition to the University of Memphis, Christian Brothers University on Central Avenue in Midtown Memphis said via Twitter they will also be able to assist displaced Victory University students continue their education.

CBU is open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to assist with transfer documentation. CBU said they have scholarships available. You can contact CBY Admissions at 901-321-3205.

CBU will also help Victory University students arch 17-20 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at their main campus in Bechman Hall. Call 901-321-3291 for more information.

Union University in Jackson will be hosting an information and registration session for Victory University students at its Germantown campus on March 20 at 6 p.m.

"Union University would like to serve Victory students during their transition toward completing their collegiate goals," said Carla D. Sanderson, executive vice president for strategic initiatives at the Germantown and Olford Center campuses in Shelby County. "We want to help them in whatever ways possible to make informed choices about their next steps toward a degree."

Undergraduate and graduate advisers from Union will be available to review transcripts, answer admissions questions and discuss transfer procedures. Each student should bring photo identification and either a transcript or a current list of courses completed.

Union's Germantown campus is located at 2745 Hacks Cross Road. More information about Union degree programs can be found at uu.edu/Germantown, or by calling (901) 759-0029.

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