Cash-strapped Argosy University has closed its Atlanta campus, officials announced Friday evening.
“We have worked day and night since the institution entered into receivership under Dream Center Education Holdings to find the best path forward for students,” Mark Dottore, who was recently appointed to manage the university’s assets, said in a statement emailed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We are extremely disappointed with this outcome but continue to provide services to students to help them transition to one of the dozens of higher education institutions offering assistance to them or, where they choose to do so, to apply for student loan discharge.”
Many Argosy University students at the metro Atlanta campus explored options Friday to transfer from the school after its administrators announced the school was likely to permanently close that day.
Administrators at the troubled school sent state officials late Wednesday a seven-page “campus closure plan.” The documents said operations could end Friday unless a new owner emerged or Argosy found a transfer partner.
Several students were angry about the situation.
“This is garbage,” said Ronya Williams, an Atlanta resident pursuing her master’s degree in human services.
Argosy, which holds classes in an office building on Hammond Drive near Ga. 400, has about 1,500 students who take classes from its Georgia campus, according to state officials.
The for-profit university has 16 campuses in 11 states and online courses, and many of them were also in danger of closing Friday. The school has been unable to pay some vendors, court records show. Nationally, Argosy students are waiting for an estimated $13 million in financial aid, according to one document. Federal education officials said they are working on options for students considering transferring. Thirteen Democratic U.S. senators signed a letter Friday demanding U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos immediately assist the students.
The metro Atlanta campus held two sessions Friday afternoon where officials from some area and online colleges and universities shared information about their curriculum. Some students complained they had difficulty getting their transcripts to apply to other schools.
Doctoral student Eric Hall said he needed just one more class to complete his degree work. He called the situation “shocking” and partially blamed government officials for not monitoring Argosy more closely. Still, he was optimistic about his prospects of finding another school.
“I’m going to stick to my Christian faith and hope me and my fellow classmates have a smooth transition,” Hall said.
ARGOSY UNIVERSITY, ATLANTA
Enrollment: 1,500 students
Six-year graduation rate: 13 percent
2014 student loan default rate: 15.2 percent
Sources: U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics 2016-17 data; U.S. Department of Education; Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission
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