Special Bulletin: Spread the Word — 20,000 Students Whose Postsecondary Schools Recently Closed May Qualify for Federal Help!

Do you know one or more student who recently attended classes at a branch of Education Corporation of America (ECA), a for-profit chain of 70 postsecondary schools? If so, they may need to that the U.S. Education Department (ED) is looking for them — not to do something to those students; but to do something for them!

On December 5 ECA announced it was closing all of its schools — including those named Brightwood Career Institute, Brightwood College, Echotech Institute, Golf Academy of America, and Virginia College. As a result, ED has now launched an effort to locate about 20,000 ECA students.

Students enrolled at an ECA school on or within 120 days before its closure date may qualify for the government to discharge their federal student loan debts for them. They may also be able to transfer their ECA credits to other postsecondary schools, and for help in obtaining transcripts to document their ECA credits.

ECA school closure dates are available to students through a link on ED’s Closed School webpage. ED’s also published an information sheet for students affected by ECA’s closure. Students may also call ED’s Federal Student Aid Information Center for help at (800) 433-3243 or (800) 730-8913 TTY for the hearing impaired.

Affected students should access the closed school information resources cited above if ECA’s school closures left them stuck with student debt, left them with nowhere to go to continue work toward their certificates or degrees, or both. Doing so will help the United States government help them!

College Affordability Solutions’ next regularly scheduled post will appear here on Wednesday, January 2. Until then, feel free to use our Topical Index to explore more than 100 articles on strategies for making college affordable. Happy Holidays!

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