The sudden or unexpected closing of an accredited campus creates risk and anxiety for students who have undertaken their studies with the reasonable expectation that the institution will be accessible through the completion of their diploma, certificate, or degree program. ACISC™ offers resources to help empower students who have been notified about the potential or imminent closure of their campus.
Students facing the potential and imminent closure of the campus where they are enrolled should consider and take advantage of the following resources:
STUDENTS SEEKING TO TRANSFER TO ANOTHER ACCREDITED INSTITUTION IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THEIR CREDENTIAL
Contact the campus director and request written confirmation of the terms and conditions under which their credits will be acceptable at the receiving institution, which credits will be accepted and what tuition and fees will be charged by the receiving institution.
STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN A TEACH-OUT OF CURRENT PROGRAM AT THEIR CURRENT CAMPUS
Contact the campus director for information about which institution will be providing the instruction enabling students to fulfill the requirements for the credential they have been working toward, including the institution’s accreditation and its authority to provide instruction in the program related to that specific credential (diploma, certificate, or degree).
STUDENTS SEEKING REFUNDS
For students unable to complete their education at the campus in which they are currently enrolled due to its closure, the institution is required to provide a refund for the tuition and fees paid to date. Contact the campus director and request information about the application process for refunds and the interval for receiving full payment. In certain states, students and colleges have paid into a state-based tuition recovery fund that can help mitigate some of the financial displacement derived from a campus closure.
STUDENTS SEEKING DISCHARGE OF THEIR LOANS
In certain circumstances, students unable to complete their education due to campus closure may be eligible for amnesty from paying back their federal student loans. For more information about how to apply for loan amnesty, contact the Regional Title IV Office for your state.
STUDENT TRANSCRIPTS AND FINANCIAL AID RECORDS
The closing campus is required to provide for the safe keeping of all student academic records (transcripts) and financial aid records, and to convey those records in a secure manner to students or the institutions they designate upon request. In addition, state law in many jurisdictions reiterates the legal requirement for campuses to preserve and convey student records, and prescribes where the records must be stored and for how long. Contact the campus representative or your state approval authority to clarify how and when you will have access to your records now and in the future.
INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS
ACISC™ requires institutions to communicate directly with students on all of these matters and others as frequently as necessary. Failure to do so subjects the campus to potential revocation of accreditation and loss of eligibility to participate in federal student financial aid programs. It also subjects the principles to loss of eligibility to own or manage accredited career colleges in the future.
This guidance is derived from ACISC™’s authority over the institutions before, during, and after the closure of a campus, including the following standards published in the Accreditation Critera:
The licensing and accrediting agencies that have reviewed and approved their school (Section 1-2-100 (b) and Appendix C)
The school’s refund policy (Section 3-1-433)
The school’s grievance policies, including how to appeal academic decisions and how to file a formal complaint
(Section 3-1-202 and Appendix C)
The school’s Transfer of Credit policy (Section 3-1-413)