Brightwood College permanently closing RGV campuses

The Brightwood College campus in Brownsville.

Brightwood College, a for-profit vocational school with campuses in McAllen and Brownsville, will shut down.

The announcement Wednesday morning left students and staff with unanswered questions.

“It's like my career, you know. It's my future. Plus, it just happened out of nowhere. And I’m really upset about it," said Tanya, a former Brightwood College student.

Students were told the college will cease operations on Friday, with only a small skeleton staff left behind to help students get transcripts so they can enroll elsewhere.

One teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, said many students were upset and crying throughout the morning.

Brightwood College is operated by Education Corporation of America, one of the largest for-profit college operators in the United States. It offers mostly certificates in professional disciplines such as cosmetology, culinary arts and medical and dental assistant programs.

According to, ECA struggled with declining enrollment and fell behind on payments and rent for many campus locations. The Department of Education also cut off ECA's access to federal student aid.

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