Imagine paying more than $30,000 in college tuition only to have that college suddenly close its doors without notice -- or explanation.

That's the situation facing a group of students in Saint John this week after Atlantica College closed.

Amber McGuire-Oursien was getting ready for a second year and had no idea what was about to happen.

“No indication; none whatsoever,” she said. “Just last week, they had somebody new from the school come in and help me fill out for my second loan.”

Some recent grads say the doors closed so fast they couldn't get important documents.

“That would be my diploma and grades in case I wish to continue my education forward, or if any company asks to see my grades or any sort of credentials,” said student Matthew Blanchard.

Others wonder about a far-wider impact.

“Anybody that has previously graduated from the college, they have a diploma for a college that no longer exists,” said graduate Carey Murphy. “So, what are they to do?  What am I to do? What are all my classmates to do?"

Atlantica College does not have a website anymore. It's been taken off the internet, but as of Thursday, the college is still registered with the New Brunswick government, registered as a private sector training and educational institution. That registration wasn't supposed to elapse until later this year.

Documents list Jim Kuehnel as president and general manager of the college.

Numerous attempts by CTV to reach Kuehnel today went unanswered.

Students weren’t the only ones taken by surprise.

“They are required to notify the minister by writing prior to closing,” said Trevor Holder, New Brunswick’s Post-Secondary Minister. “That was not done"

The minister says the students may not be entirely out of luck.

“The options could be in place to see if another institution may be able to pick up these studies, and if the students don't want to do that, we're going to be looking to see if there are funds to help them with their tuition,” Holder said.

As they wait for answers, students remain on the outside looking in.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.