Affected By The Closure Of For-Profit Colleges? Here's What You Can DoBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Several for-profit colleges have been shut down by the Department of Education for not putting its students' best interests first. Corinthian College and ITT Tech are two of the most high-profile closure in the nation.
Recently, the U.S. Education Department has officially stripped the authority of the largest for-profit accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). It will no longer recognize the organization as an official accrediting agency. This is the final blow for concerns over the council's ability to be a watchdog for students and taxpayers.
"I am terminating the department's recognition of ACICS as a national recognized accrediting agency," Emma Vadehra, chief of staff to the education secretary, wrote in a letter to the institution. "ACICS's track record does not inspire confidence that it can address all of the problems effectively."
A lot of students have been affected by the closure. CNN reported that ITT Tech's shut down left 35,000 students without their degrees. USA Today College shared things that affected students can do to be able to continue their tertiary studies.
First, students should obtain their educational and financial records early so that when the school closes, you will have the documents you need. For those who have federal loans, you can apply for a closed school loan discharge to dismiss your outstanding loans. This option will not be available if the school only loses accreditation but does not close down.
Students can also receive relief under a provision named borrower defense to repayment. With this, you would have to show in court how your school violated laws when it came to educational services or loans. The Department of Education is said to be releasing guidelines about this since a lot of people have been affected.
Another solution would be to transfer to another school or teach-out. Transferring may be a bit difficult, though, since credits obtained under the school may not be accredited with another institution. Your school may also offer a teach-out program that allows students to finish their coursework at another institution.