Did your college go out of business? Still owe loans? No transcript? There is help for you!
When your private college closes it does not have to mean your education is over. Amador College Connect collaborates with public community colleges to offer online degree and professional certification programs. Course credits earned at private colleges in many cases may be transferable into one of these programs.
The bad news is the private college industry has faced many closings in the past twenty years and obtaining a transcript and transferring credits can seem like an impossible task. The good news is there are protections in place and abundant resources offered by the State of California to assist students who want to continue their education without having to start over.
Recognizing that students at private colleges are consumers, the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs maintains the Office of Student Assistance and Relief (OSAR). This agency exists to advance and promote the rights of students of private colleges, and to assist students who suffer economic loss due to the unlawful activities or closure of a private college.
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The closing of private colleges is more common than you might think. According to OSAR’s website, there were nine such closings in October and November 2018 alone. https://www.osar.bppe.ca.gov/closures/closure_events.shtml Given the risk of closure, the OSAR and the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) exist to help prospective, current and former private college students understand and address this risk.
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Regulating and Evaluating Private Colleges
The BPPE regulates California’s private colleges. The Bureau assists prospective and current students of private colleges by providing information about school statuses, performance reports, disciplinary actions, and compliance results. https://www.bppe.ca.gov/ Before committing to a private institution, students are advised to consult BPPE’s online resources to assess the risk that the college they are choosing to attend might close before they complete their program.
BPPE also assists students in evaluating whether the college recruiters are being truthful regarding graduation rates and job prospects.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Private College Closures
What happens if my Private College closes?
OSAR maintains a website with useful information about student rights and procedures for seeking direction following their school’s closing. https://www.osar.bppe.ca.gov/ There are important actions students can take immediately upon learning that their school is closing that make transferring credits easier.
My college closed, do I still have to pay on my loans?
Students are often stuck paying back loans for courses or degrees they did not have a chance to finish. OSAR’s website offers information about applying for assistance through the Student Tuition Recovery Fund: https://www.osar.bppe.ca.gov/forms_pubs/strf_eng.pdf There are documentation requirements and time limitations but students still owing money for an unfinished degree are advised to investigate this opportunity.
My college is closed so how do I get a copy of my transcript?
Oftentimes, students want to continue their education and need to transfer their credits from a closed private school into a new program. This is difficult, if not impossible, without a transcript. Again, BPPE offers assistance through its website.
Schools that close are required to transfer student records to a “custodian of records” (someone a student can contact to obtain a copy of their transcript). BPPE maintains a directory of records custodians for closed colleges on its website: https://www.bppe.ca.gov/students/transcripts.shtml In many cases BPPE is the records custodian.
When requesting a transcript from a custodian of records, students are advised to provide as much information as possible about their attendance, dates and course of study. BPPE provides a sample “Transcript Form” as a guide. https://www.bppe.ca.gov/students/transcript_req.pdf
If a school is not listed in BPPE’s Custodian of Records directory, students may request information regarding the custodian of records by sending an email, including as much information about the school as possible, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Help Transferring Your College Credits
The California community colleges that Amador College Connect collaborates with, along with ASU-Online, all allow credit transfers pursuant to their internal policies and guidelines. Amador College Connect stands ready to assist you in determining what you need to transfer your existing credits into a new program. Call the office today for an appointment: 209-217-8239.