On the heels of the closure of Argosy University, CNMI residents who are enrolled in Argosy’s online program may be able to have their student loan forgiven.
According to a notice yesterday from the Office of the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Counsel, federal regulations provide that students who are enrolled in a school that closes, or who withdraw up to 120 days before the school closes, and are unable to complete their program of study can apply for a “Closed School Discharge” of their federal student loans used to attend the closed school.
Argosy announced last March 8 that it is closing its stateside campuses and online program, effective immediately.
This news came after the discovery that the university used $13 million of student loan money from the U.S. Department of Education to cover payroll and other expenses. Last-minute court filings were unsuccessful to prevent the institution’s closing.
The OAG notice said that, if you are currently enrolled in Argosy’s online program, loan forgiveness may be available for you.
However, students who graduate from the closed school or who transfer their credits to a comparable program at another school are not eligible for Closed School Discharge.
Transferring to another school is an option, with many online programs offering assistance to Argosy students that includes fee waivers, discounts on class credit fees, and other incentives.
For example, Liberty University’s online program is offering Argosy students their first class free if they would like to transfer. The American College of Education is waiving transfer fees for Argosy students. Other colleges and universities have similar offers. The WASC Senior College and University Commission who approved Argosy’s accreditation intends to provide information on their website with the names of schools willing to assist Argosy students or absorb entire academic programs.
When considering your options, you should know that completing a comparable program of study through another school could disqualify you from receiving a Closed School Discharge. For example, if you decide to complete an education program at another school and transfer education credits earned at Argosy, you will not be eligible for a Closed School Discharge of your Argosy federal loans.
For some people, having their student loans discharged will be preferable to continuing their programs of study and being obligated to repay the student loan debt accrued at their school.
You should carefully consider your options and personal finances before continuing your studies or applying for a Closed School Discharge.
The U.S. Department of Education has created a special Web page containing information related to the Argosy closure at: https://www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/dream-center. For more information on the process for applying for a Closed School Discharge, check out https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans- forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school.
To receive a Closed School Discharge, you will need to submit an application to your loan servicer. You can obtain a copy of the application form from your servicer or download one at: http://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/closed-school-loan-discharge-form.pdf. You can determine your current loan servicer and check how much you currently owe in federal debt at http://nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/.
The U.S. Department of Education has also begun the process of identifying students who received a federal direct student loan for the current term and intends to cancel those disbursements. The cancellation of the disbursement for the current term will be done automatically with adjustments made to your loan balance to reflect it. For current Pell Grant recipients transferring to a school and starting classes before July 1, 2019, the financial aid office at your new school will be able to determine your remaining 2018-2019 Pell Grant eligibility. The Department of Education is hosting interactive webinars for students from closed Argosy University programs to share information and address questions and concerns. Visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/dream-center-webinars.pdf for details and to register.
Argosy University continues to offer career services to students to assist with employment opportunities and job skills development. Students can seek guidance in building a resume, career planning, developing job-search strategies, preparing for an interview and evaluating potential job opportunities. For assistance, call 1-855-855- 0571 or email AUcareerreadiness@argosy.edu.
For account balance inquiries, check online at CSSNRecovery@dcedh.org. If you need a copy of your student transcripts and wish to discuss other issues, refer to https://argosy.edu/closed-school-information. You can also order a transcript through the mail. Mailed requests typically require three weeks processing time. Print and complete the Transcript Request Form found online and make sure to include your signature on the form or it cannot be processed. Mail the form and payment to:
Dream Center Education Holdings
Attn: Academic Operations Department 1400 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Students may only request up to three official transcripts at this time via the Campus Common student portal. Should you need more than three official transcripts, send an email request to DCEHPriorityServices@dcedh.org and include your name, location attended, full contact information, and the reason for needing additional transcripts in order for the request to be reviewed.
If you need a copy of your Diploma, email ClosedCampusDiplomaRequest@dcedh.org and include your name as it should appear on your diploma, your current mailing address, a copy of your student ID, the program completed, the campus attended, dates attended, and reason for the request (lost diploma, misprinted, first time request, etc.) Please note that It may take up to 12 weeks to process the request given the volume of requests for diplomas recently received.
To speak with a school representative directly, call 1-855-758-5660 or email email@example.com. Representatives are available 9am-8pm EST, Monday-Friday, but email may be the fastest way to receive assistance according to the school’s published information.
In addition, please do not hesitate to contact Michele Harris, Consumer Counsel for the Office of the Attorney General, at (670) 237-7500 if you have other questions or concerns. (Saipan Tribune)