Information for Argosy and Art Institute Students

Important Information About Argosy University and The Art Institutes

On this page, you will find information for students attending Argosy University (Argosy) and The Art Institutes (Ai), institutions owned by Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH). Featured below is information about a decision the U.S. Department of Education (ED) made regarding Argosy and credit balance refunds owed to students.

Closure of Most Argosy and Art Institute Locations
Information for Argosy University and Art Institute Students: Motion for Emergency Closure
Denial of Change in Ownership to Argosy
Information About Credit Balance Refunds Owed to Argosy Students


Closure of Most Argosy and Art Institute Locations

Officials representing the court-appointed receiver for Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH)—owners of Argosy University (Argosy) and select Art Institutes—announced that some DCEH-owned institutions ceased offering educational instruction on March 8, 2019. You can find information about which schools closed and what your options are now at StudentAid.gov/closures. On that page, you’ll find a general fact sheet, a spreadsheet of confirmed closures, a schedule of transfer fairs to date, and—later—a schedule of webinars.


Information for Argosy University and Art Institute Students: Motion for Emergency Closure

On March 6, 2019, the Receiver for Argosy University (Argosy) and The Art Institutes of Pittsburgh, The Art Institute of Las Vegas, and The Art Institute of Seattle, filed a motion with the court requesting permission for an emergency closure of the 22 campuses of Argosy and the Dream Center Education Holding-owned Art Institute campuses by Friday, March 8, 2019. Additionally, ED has become aware that the administration at various individual Argosy and Art Institute locations sent emails regarding this possibility to students and staff. Although the court has not yet granted the Receiver’s motion to close the campuses, ED recognizes that an imminent closure is a distinct possibility and is providing additional information for students.

If a closure does occur, ED will post a fact sheet for students describing the options available to you—including your eligibility for a closed school loan discharge and information about transfer options and teach out—as well as how to obtain your student records, Federal Pell Grant restoration procedures, and state tuition reimbursement fund information. ED will post this information on its closed school page located at StudentAid.gov/closures. On that page, you can also view common Q&As asked by students of other closed schools. ED will also send individual emails to impacted students to describe their options and to let students know about ED-sponsored webinars and partners hosting transfer fairs and student meetings in an effort to further inform students and answer your questions. Note that a student who transfers credits to complete their program is generally not eligible for closed school loan discharge.

Even if the schools do not officially close, ED has begun the process to identify Argosy and Art Institute students that were disbursed a federal direct student loan for the current term and is in the process of cancelling those disbursements. The cancellation of the disbursement for the current term for all students will be done automatically with adjustments made to your loan balance to reflect it. For current Pell Grant recipients transferring to a school and starting classes before July 1, 2019, the financial aid office at your new school will be able to determine your remaining 2018–19 Pell Grant eligibility. ED is notifying schools about Pell Grant processing for students affected by this situation.

If you have questions about this process, or if you are experiencing difficulties attempting to enroll at another institution and your eligibility for federal student aid is being impacted by the funds disbursed at Argosy and Art Institute, you are encouraged to contact Federal Student Aid online at StudentAid.gov/feedback or by calling 1-844-651-0077 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Eastern time.

Additionally, to assist you with gathering information from your institutions’ state higher education authorizing agency about transfer options to continue your education, ED is providing information about scheduled student information sessions and Argosy web landing pages, which are maintained and sponsored by those individual states that host Argosy campus locations. As additional landing pages for Argosy and Art Institute are created and information sessions scheduled, ED will post updates to this spreadsheet.

Funded by the Lumina Foundation, NextStepsEd is an online ticketing portal where students displaced by school closures can explore their options. Contact them to talk to a volunteer counselor. ED makes no endorsement of their advising; and we encourage all students to examine the best possible avenues for assistance.

ED will post additional information for students to this site as this situation develops. Please check back for updates.


Denial of Change in Ownership to Argosy

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued a letter on Feb. 27, 2019, to the federal receiver—who has control of Argosy and its finances—and the chairman of Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH), which owns Argosy. The letter informs the receiver and DCEH that ED has denied the pending application for the change in ownership and the related request to convert Argosy from a for-profit to a nonprofit institution for the purpose of participating in the federal student aid programs. ED took this step because Argosy does not meet certain standards, including administrative capability, financial responsibility, and the institution’s duty to use federal student aid program funds only for their intended purpose. Argosy’s failure to pay credit balance refunds owed to its students and parents demonstrates that Argosy cannot meet the required standards.

The letter notified Argosy that, upon its effective date of Feb. 27, 2019, Argosy’s participation in the federal student aid programs ends. The letter gives Argosy until March 11, 2019, to provide ED with factual evidence to dispute ED’s findings. If that evidence causes ED to change its determination, Argosy may be allowed to continue to participate in the federal student aid programs while ED re-evaluates the institution’s application for a change in ownership. If that happens, Argosy may regain its ability to receive federal student aid program funds through the Heightened Cash Monitoring 2 (HCM2) payment method it was subject to before ED’s denial decision.

This denial decision applies only to the following institutions owned by DCEH:

Institution Name

Location

Argosy University – Phoenix ATS Chandler

Phoenix, AZ

Argosy University – Phoenix

Chandler, AZ

Argosy University – San Francisco Bay Area

Alameda, CA

Argosy University – Western State University College of Law

Irvine, CA

Argosy University – Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Argosy University – Ai Hollywood (The Shed)

North Hollywood, CA

Argosy University – The Art Institute of California – Hollywood

North Hollywood, CA

Argosy University

Orange, CA

Argosy University – The Art Institute of California – San Diego

San Diego, CA

Argosy University – Tampa

Tampa, FL

Argosy University – Atlanta

Atlanta, GA

Argosy University – Clay National Guard Center

Marietta, GA

Argosy University – Hilo campus

Hilo, HI

Argosy University – Hawaii

Honolulu, HI

Argosy University – Maui Campus

Wailuku, HI

Argosy University

Chicago, IL

Argosy University – Twin Cities

Eagan, MN

Argosy University – Dallas

Dallas, TX

Argosy University – Salt Lake City

Draper, UT

Argosy University – UT National Guard Base, SLC

Salt Lake City, UT

Argosy University – Washington, DC

Arlington, VA

Argosy University – Seattle

Seattle, WA

ED will post additional information for students to this site as this situation develops. Please check back for updates. In the meantime, here are answers to some frequently asked questions, including questions about whether you can transfer your credits to another school and what happens if your school closes.

Why did Argosy go into receivership?

A federal judge appointed the receiver after a vendor—that was owed money by DCEH, which owns Argosy—sued DCEH and some of its subsidiaries and requested that a receiver be appointed. Before the lawsuit, DCEH had been working with the receiver on a plan to put the DCEH-owned institutions into receivership in order to eliminate certain debts and have those institutions change ownership. ED was notified about this plan and specifically advised DCEH and the receiver that going into receivership would require ED to place the institutions on a reimbursement payment system in an effort to protect students and taxpayers.

ED has worked to provide information to the receiver about federal financial aid program rules and the various ED regulations that could impact the receivership, the institution, and its students.

The receiver told us that ED has the authority to issue student credit balance refunds directly, and that we should be asking ED to do so. Is that accurate?

The receiver is responsible for paying credit balance refunds owed to students. ED disbursed funds to Argosy just before it went into receivership, and ED is awaiting an accounting of how those funds were spent.

To provide additional oversight of Argosy, ED placed the school on a Heightened Cash Monitoring (HCM) payment method. HCM requires Argosy locations to disburse loans and grants—including credit balance refunds—to students from the schools’ own funds before requesting a reimbursement of those funds from ED. HCM regulations do not allow ED to provide federal student aid funds to the schools for credit balances that have not been paid or to release those funds directly to students.

Does this denial decision impact my federal student aid at my current school?

Yes. You cannot receive future federal student aid at any institution listed above. There are limited exceptions to this rule.

How can I transfer my credits to another school?

You may want to visit CollegeScorecard.ed.gov to explore transfer options and find the program that’s right for you. Contact individual schools for transfer credit or hour policies. If you do transfer into a comparable program offered by another school, that school will evaluate your transcript, course work, and hours completed in the subjects covered in your course of study, and will decide how much credit to give you for the work you’ve already completed, as well as identify the coursework you need to complete your program of study. It is up to the new school to decide how much credit you would receive for classes you have already completed.

If my school closes, am I eligible for a closed school loan discharge?

Yes, you may be eligible for a 100-percent discharge of your Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Loans, or Federal Perkins Loans you have taken for your program under either of these circumstances:

  • Your school closed while you were enrolled, and you didn’t complete your program because of the closure. If you were on an approved leave of absence, you’re considered to have been enrolled at the school.
  • Your school closed within 120 days after you withdrew.

If I enroll (by transferring academic credits or hours earned from my closed school) in a comparable program at another school for the purpose of completing the program for which a loan was made at my closed school, can I still receive a closed school loan discharge?

No. You may not receive a closed school loan discharge if you completed or are in the process of completing a comparable program of study at the new institution.

Who can I contact to address concerns about my federal student aid experience?

You should contact Federal Student Aid online at StudentAid.gov/feedback or by calling 1-844-651-0077 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Eastern time if you are

  • attempting to enroll at another institution and your eligibility for federal student aid is being impacted by the funds disbursed at one of the institutions listed above, or
  • owed a credit balance refund that you have not received. This information is needed so that ED can confirm information provided by Argosy and The Art Institutes about the number of outstanding credit balance refunds.

Information About Credit Balance Refunds Owed to Argosy Students

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has learned that some students attending institutions currently under the control of a federal court-appointed receiver have not been given their credit balance refunds for the current term as required by ED’s financial aid regulations. These schools are owned by Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH) and include Argosy University (Argosy), The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, The Art Institute of California–Hollywood, The Art Institute of California–San Diego, The Art Institute of Las Vegas, and The Art Institute of Seattle. ED expects the receiver, who has control of the institutions and their finances, to resolve this situation.

These institutions have been on the Heightened Cash Monitoring 1 (HCM1) payment method status since 2007. On Jan. 25, 2019, the schools were placed on the HCM2 payment method to provide additional oversight of the institutions.

A school may be placed on HCM1 or HCM2 as a result of a change in ownership or for compliance issues, such as concern about a school’s administrative capabilities or financial responsibility. Once a school is subject to a receivership order, ED promptly places the school on HCM2 because a receivership typically results from serious financial difficulties.

On HCM2, Argosy and The Art Institute locations must disburse loans and grants—including credit balance refunds—to students from the schools’ own funds before requesting a reimbursement of those funds from ED. HCM regulations do not allow ED to provide federal student aid funds to the schools for credit balances that have not been paid or to release those funds directly to students.

You should contact Federal Student Aid online at StudentAid.gov/feedback or by calling 1-844-651-0077 Monday through Friday 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Eastern time if you are

  • attempting to enroll at another institution and your eligibility for federal student aid is being impacted by the funds disbursed at one of the institutions listed above, or
  • owed a credit balance refund that you have not received. This information is needed so that ED can confirm information provided by Argosy and The Art Institutes about the number of outstanding credit balance refunds.

More information will be posted on this site as it is available.