The feds were watching Wright Career College well before it closed

Before Wright Career College declared bankruptcy earlier this month and abruptly closed its doors, federal educators had launched a review of how the school used its cash.

The U.S. Department of Education had Wright Career College under close watch for financial reasons, a department of education spokesman said on Tuesday.

The Heightened Cash Monitoring list, that Wright was put on, was started last year as a way for the nation’s Education Department to open its books and give tuition-paying students and parents a better look at what their money is buying and how it's being used.

A school could land on the monitoring list for late financial statements, outstanding liabilities, accreditation issues or concerns about its financial responsibility.

Since a review of Wright Career College remains open, federal officials were unable to discuss the details of the cash monitoring investigation at the former school.

Wright Career College, headquartered in Overland Park, had more than 1,000 students at campuses here and in Wichita, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Omaha.

The company filed for bankruptcy April 15 in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., seeking to liquidate its assets. The initial filing estimated liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million and estimated the number of creditors at between 1,000 and 5,000.

The school shut down before negotiating ways for students to transfer and manage financial aid. The U.S. Department of Education said it is operating as a lifeline for former Wright Career students looking for assistance. Students can find a guidance sheet on the

Federal Student Aid website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/wright.

Mará Rose Williams: 816-234-4419, @marawilliamskc