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The Academy of Hair Design, which closed its downtown Salem beauty school after 50 years in business, faced losing its accreditation and ability to offer federal financial aid, officials said. (Video by Amy Read and Anna Reed)
Wochit

 

The Academy of Hair Design, which closed its downtown Salem beauty school after 50 years in business, faced losing its accreditation and ability to offer federal financial aid, officials said. 

Students and customers were greeted with a bright orange sign announcing the school’s closure the morning of July 11.

Both were caught off guard. 

One student, who was just days away from graduating, said she was told the morning of the closure. 

A salon customer since 1986 said students were crying and struggling to figure out how and where to finish their schooling. 

The family-owned business first opened in 1967. Over the years, the school trained hundreds of hairstylists and offered bargain-priced beauty services. 

The academy’s owner said the possibility of not being able to offer federal financial aid was the driving factor behind their closure, said Juan Baez-Arevalo, Director of Private Post-secondary Education Coordinating Commission. 

Faced with losing that vital student aid, the owners made the difficult decision to close up shop, he said. 

On June 6, the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences sent a letter to the academy’s manager, Michael Snook, informing him the commission had acted to withdraw the school’s accreditation. 

The letter cited the company’s failure to submit a financial compliance report at the end of 2016 as the reason for the withdraw. 

The academy reserved the right to appeal the decision and was listed as being accredited but on probation in the U.S. Department of Education’s database. 

Snook did not…