• What to do if your college closes suddenly

    By: Jason Stoogenke

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Brightwood, Brookstone, Charlotte School of Law, Corinthians, Everest, ITT Tech and Kaplan were all for-profit schools that closed suddenly, leaving students, like Abril Murillo, stranded.

    [RELATED: Charlotte's Brightwood College goes out of business]

    The 20-year-old told Action 9 she "was trying to be someone."  She wanted to be a dental assistant.  She enrolled at Brightwood in southeast Charlotte. But just four months in, "Our teacher comes in and she starts looking upset and we're just like, 'What's going on? Can you just please tell us?' She starts crying, and she tells us that the school's shutting down," Murillo said.  "At that moment, it was heartbreaking."  

    Murillo isn't giving up. She's looking at other schools. "I was never a perfect 'A' student in high school. But, once I went to Brightwood I put all my effort, my heart into that.  And I turn out to be one of the best students there," she said. "I can do it. I can definitely do it."

    If your school closes:

    • Get your transcript as soon as possible
    • Keep course materials with class descriptions (they may help more of your credits transfer)
    • If you graduated, get your diploma (if you don't already have it)

    If you continue your education, your loans should transfer. You can even borrow more money if you have to.  

    [ALSO READ: Former Charlotte School of Law students file new lawsuit against company that owned school]

    Jonathan Vogel is an education lawyer in Charlotte. He's worked on both sides: as a deputy general counsel with the U.S. Department of Education and as a lawyer for colleges, including a for-profit one. He says students continuing their education "need to be prepared to show their new school that, one, the school that they’re coming from was accredited. Two, the new school will take a look at the courses and the types of courses that they took. For example, were the courses taken on campus or were the courses taken online? Some colleges will only accept two or three courses from another school that were taken online. And the third, consideration is whether those courses are going to count toward general education or electives."

    If you don't continue your studies, the federal government will forgive your loans 100 percent if your school closes. There's no deadline to apply for a discharge. In fact, you automatically get a discharge in three years. 

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