Lynchburg hair academy working to help former regency students

By Rachel Lucas - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – A hair academy in Lynchburg is trying to help hundreds of students impacted by the closing of Regency Beauty Institute.

Regency Beauty Institute announced it would permanently close 79 campuses, including the one in Roanoke, on Wednesday.

The dream of becoming a professional cosmetologist was put on hold for more than a hundred students at Roanoke's Regency Beauty Institute and many were close to finishing their hours.

An official teach-out location has yet to be named by the State Board of Cosmetology, or DPOR.

A local cosmetology school, however, is working to help students and employees displaced by the sudden closure.

Now, Academy Director Keena Wood at Sylvain Melloul International Hair Academy in Lynchburg is trying to help those students get back on the right track to achieving their dream.

"Currently we are working with Regency, hoping to get a teach-out Agreement set up with them so we can get their students in here quickly," Wood said.

Along with transferring all training hours over to the new program, a teach-out agreement would also help with any student loans or financial aid students receive apply to their new program.

"They are going to be able to walk out here exactly as they were coming to class like they thought they were going to be this week. Come in with the same hours, come in with the same financial aid situation, and come in with the same signature services that they did when they were at Regency," Wood said.

Unlike Regency, the Academy is a local entity, not connected to a national chain. A benefit Wood says not only provides stability to students and staff, but also offers more one-on-one training to students. She said they also have a financial aid coordinator on staff to help.

"The COO was on the phone with the Regency and DPOR, so we are trying to get something worked out. I am hopeful by next week we will have something in place. We can accept transfer students as soon as they can get their hands on their transcripts.

Transcripts are being mailed now and should arrive by next week. READ THIS MESSAGE TO STUDENTS FROM DPOR

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