What You Should Know if Your School Closes
If your school should close without notice, please call our office and notify us of the situation as soon as possible. A private licensed school may close for any number of reasons, but by regulation, a school must give our office 30 days notice (22 Pa. Code § 73.95). This does not always happen. Under all closure circumstances, however, our goal is to make certain that student needs are addressed, from arranging teach-out options at other occupational training schools to providing information on federal student loan forgiveness. The information below will give you a general idea of your options in the event of this unfortunate circumstance.
Teach-out - The continuation of instruction to complete the program or course, whenever the school's licensure has been suspended or revoked or when a school has advised the Board that it intends to discontinue operations. Our division will make these arrangements with other private licensed schools for students in the event of an abrupt closure.
Transfer - Students are permitted to make their own arrangements for the continuation of their education at another school in the event of a closure.
Loan Forgiveness - If you have received a student loan through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) or the United States Department of Education, you may qualify for loan discharge under certain circumstances. To discuss issues and requirements, please contact those agencies directly at the following addresses:
Coordinator, Loan Discharge, Program Review Development and Regional Services
AES - PHEAA
1200 North 7th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102-1444
1-800-692-7392, ext. 2676 or 717-720-2676
US Department of Education, US Department of Education - Closed Schools
Federal Family Education Loan Program:
Debt Collection Service
Loan Discharge Applications
P.O. Box 422037
San Francisco, CA 94142
Direct Loan Servicing Center
P.O. Box 4609
Utica, NY 13504-4609
The Division of Higher & Career Education does not administer loan programs or process requests for loan forgiveness.
Surety Bond Claim - All Schools must obtain insurance (surety) for that portion of tuition and other charges billed to students (but not yet earned by the school), that may remain if a school closes abruptly. If you have paid your tuition in advance, you may be able to apply for a claim against the school's surety. You may not opt to accept a teach-out plan or transfer and apply for a claim against the school's surety.
Specific Closed School Information
Please Note: - Even under the best circumstances, it will take time to process resolutions for every student affected by an abrupt school closure. Take the time to locate any documents that might substantiate your completion of coursework (transcripts, exams, invoice for payment of tuition, etc.) and prepare to make them available to Division staff if needed. You may call our office to obtain periodic updates for making claims against the school's bond or for awarding diplomas, if needed.
You should also know that of the approximately 320 private licensed schools within Pennsylvania, roughly 25 of them close each year (about 8% of currently licensed schools). There is no way to tell for sure which schools will close, but our Division and Board take every permissible action by statute and regulation to monitor and assist licensed schools so that abrupt closures are avoided. One of the primary functions of the State Board of Private Licensed Schools is to provide consumer protection, a responsibility it takes very seriously. We will make every effort to provide the assistance students need to complete their education in the event of a school closure, and ultimately, get started in their chosen occupations.
Click on Closed School Records (PDF) to obtain a list to locate the transcripts.