North Carolina proprietary schools are required to provide students with a minimum 30-day written notice of closure. During that time, school officials should assist students with: (1) completing their programs at the school; (2) identifying equivalent programs at other institutions; (3) transferring to other institutions; and (4) receiving refunds. Schools are also required to file copies of all student academic records with the State Archives. In the best circumstance, owners and administrators ensure orderly school closures in which all students complete their instruction and final academic transcripts and certificates are awarded. Unfortunately, some schools close with little-to-no advanced notice. This creates an uncertain future for students, who may be left with unanswered questions about options to complete their training, what earned credits are transferable to other institutions, whether the closure qualifies for loan discharge, how to obtain transcripts, etc.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS AFTER NOTICE OF SCHOOL CLOSURE:
- Transcripts - Students should immediately make every effort to secure copies of their academic transcripts (and financial records) from the closing institution, or that institution's corporate parent.
- Teach-out partners and comparable programs - Do not assume that academic credits will transfer to or from any educational institution. Whether any or all credits transfer is solely at the discretion of the receiving institution. Students should always confirm the transfer of credits before enrolling at another institution. Students should also research any additional costs or fees associated with completing their training at another institution.
- Federal loans - In certain situations, students may qualify to have their federal loans discharged by the U.S. Department of Education in the event of school closures. Discharge eligibility is based on several factors—including enrollment status at the time of closure, whether all course work was completed prior to the closure, or whether a student transfers to another academic institution. Students are encouraged to learn about loan discharge at: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation.