Outreach to Ex-Students of Closed For-Profit

December 14, 2018

The Department of Education this week launched efforts to reach the roughly 20,000 students affected by the sudden closure of for-profit college chain Education Corporation of America.

The company operated Virginia College as well as Brightwood College and Brightwood Career Institutes. The goal of the effort is to let students know about the options they have to either transfer credits elsewhere or have their loans forgiven through a process called closed-school discharge.

The department held transfer fairs this week for ECA students in California and Virginia. Next week it will run a series of 11 webinars for students about transfer or loan forgiveness options. It began notifying students via email about those sessions on Thursday.

If a college closes while a student is enrolled or shortly after they withdraw, they are eligible to have their federal student loans forgiven. But the official closure date must be within 120 days of a student’s withdrawal.

That means that students who were enrolled at the roughly 40 ECA campuses that closed on Dec. 7 are eligible for the benefit if they withdrew on or after Aug. 9. The department will designate the cutoff dates for closed-school discharge at other campuses as it receives updates about additional closures this month. It's posted a spreadsheet listing specific campus information on its closed-school webpage and information on student options on a separate page for ECA students.

The department may provide students with information about colleges accepting transfer credit from ECA campuses. But an official said those details will depend on the area, campus and specific program attended by the student.

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