Frequently Asked Questions About the Closure of ITT Technical Institutes | Federal Student Aid

Frequently Asked Questions About the Closure of ITT Technical Institutes

Frequently Asked Questions About the Closure of ITT Technical Institutes

1. My school has closed and lost eligibility to receive federal student aid funds from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). What is ED doing to assist students like me?

ED has provided information regarding the options ITT students currently have available to them. Those options include closed school loan discharges and credit transfers to other institutions.

ITT officials and the postsecondary education oversight bodies in the 38 impacted states are in the process of working with institutions in the area of the closed schools to identify schools with similar programs that may accept students. For information on how to access and obtain your student records and transcripts and to find out more about licensed institutions with similar programs in your area, review the closure information that ITT posted on its website or contact your state postsecondary education agency.

You may also want to use ED’s College Scorecard to explore your transfer options and find the program that’s right for you.

If you are interested in transferring your credits to another institution, you should contact that institution to confirm that they will accept the credits you earned at ITT. The institution also can tell you what additional steps you need to take to enroll at their institution (for example, update the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form with the new institution’s information).

ED hosted 18 webinars throughout September 2016 and continues to work with state postsecondary education officials on transfer fairs and student meetings in the vicinity of the closed campuses to share information and address students’ questions and concerns. You can find the locations, times, and other information about state- and partner-sponsored transfer fairs and student meetings in columns L through O of this spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is continuously updated and reposted to this site as the dates and locations of new sessions are finalized.

We have also crafted state-specific fact sheets and posted links to a number of state web sites which contain information, resources, and a listing of fairs and open houses hosted by community colleges, universities and others, for displaced ITT students within that state. To download the fact sheet and view the web information from your state, see columns O and P of this spreadsheet.

ED announced that a coalition of organizations is spearheading efforts to match ITT students with experienced financial aid and academic advisors across the country to help navigate the options available. Contact them to talk to a volunteer advisor.

2. Which campuses are impacted by the closure?

Officials from ITT Educational Services, Inc. announced a closure of all 136 ITT Technical Institute locations on Sept. 6, 2016. On Sept. 16, 2016, ITT filed a Voluntary Petition for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana and subsequently ceased all company operations. As a result, all ITT Technical Institutes have lost their eligibility to receive federal student aid funds from ED.

The announcement by ITT did not result in an immediate closure of the Daniel Webster College (DWC) location of the chain. On Sept. 13, 2016, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) announced that a teach-out agreement had been forged to help DWC students continue their degree programs.

The teach-out will run through the end of the 2016–17 academic year, with students at the end either graduating, moving to SNHU, or transferring to another program. Classes continue on DWC’s campus in their current schedules, and residential students continue to reside on the Nashua, New Hampshire, campus for the remainder of this academic year. SNHU is hosting a series of information sessions on Daniel Webster College's campus; the sessions began on Sept. 14, 2016. 

3. Will I be able to finish my program?

Most students will not be able to finish their current program at ITT, although students who transfer to a new institution may be able to finish their current programs at the new institution. Each institution will have its own requirements that are used to determine if any of your credits earned at ITT will transfer. If you do transfer into a comparable program offered by another institution, that institution will evaluate your ITT course work and will decide whether all of your completed credits will be accepted at the new institution and what remaining credits you will need to complete.

4. If I want to transfer to another school, does it have to be one that has the same accreditor as ITT?

No, students are open to explore all options and choose the institution and program that is right for them. If you are interested in transferring your credits to another institution, you should contact that institution to confirm that they will accept the credits you earned at ITT.

5. My program requires that I pass a state professional licensing exam and/or obtain a professional board certification before I can work in the state. How will the closure of ITT impact my ability to sit for my exam or obtain professional certification?

To determine if you are able to sit for your licensing exam or obtain professional certification, contact your state postsecondary agency or the professional board that is responsible for administering the exam or issuing the certification.

6. How and where can I obtain a copy of my academic transcript?

Prior to closing, the institution is required to make accommodations for access of your academic records indefinitely. They must communicate information about academic transcripts once the location has been determined.

For information on how to access and obtain your student records and transcripts, review the closure information that ITT posted on its website and sent via email to enrolled students.

ITT has entered into a contract with Parchment to provide online request and fulfillment services for ITT Tech transcripts and related credentials. While ITT staff will start fulfilling requests, it is likely that most orders will queue until ITT makes all of its records available to Parchment’s systems for faster fulfillment. Considering that Parchment estimates that current backlogs may require several weeks for the initial processing of orders, ED urges ITT students to submit their transcript and record requests as soon as possible.

7. Where can I find information about the federal student aid I’ve received and how much more I might be eligible to receive?

For information on your federal student aid history and your remaining eligibility for certain federal student aid programs, please visit My Federal Student Aid

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create an FSA ID—a username and password—to access your loan history.

Each student’s eligibility for additional federal student aid funds will need to be evaluated independently. When enrolling in a new institution, please schedule a meeting with the financial aid office to determine your financial aid eligibility.

8. Does my Federal Pell Grant eligibility duration “reset” due to the closure of ITT?

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%.

In April 2017, ED began implementing a policy change to restore periods of Pell Grant eligibility to students who were unable to complete their course of study due to the closure of ITT. Former ITT students whose eligibility may change as a result of this policy will be notified by email when their available limits to receive Pell Grant funding have been adjusted.

To determine your remaining Pell Grant eligibility, visit My Federal Student Aid.

9. How does ITT’s closure impact my federal Direct Loan limitations?

If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of your program.

There are also limits on the amount in subsidized and unsubsidized loans that you may be eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limits) and the total amounts that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study (aggregate loan limits). 

If you apply for and receive a closed school loan discharge, the discharged loan will no longer count against your 150% subsidized loan usage period or your annual and aggregate loan limits. 

However, if you transfer credits towards the completion of a comparable program at another institution and do not receive a closed school loan discharge of the loans attributable to your ITT program of study, those loans will continue to count towards your 150% subsidized loan usage period and your annual and aggregate loan limits. The law that governs the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program does not give ED the authority to exclude loans that are not discharged.

For more information on your remaining Federal Direct Loan eligibility, visit My Federal Student Aid.

10. Do I have the option 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 under either of these circumstances:

  • Your school closes while you're enrolled, and you do not complete your program because of the closure. If you were on an approved leave of absence, you are considered to have been enrolled at the school.
  • Your school closes within 120 days after you withdraw.

You are not eligible for discharge of your loans if your school closes and any of the following is true:

  • You withdrew from all classes before May 6, 2016, which is more than 120 days before ITT ceased instruction.
  • You are completing a comparable educational program at another school
    • through a teach-out agreement with the school,
    • by transferring academic credits or hours earned at the closed school to another school, or
    • by any other comparable means.
  • You have completed all the course work for the program, even if you have not received a diploma or certificate.

Please note that you will not be eligible to receive a closed school loan discharge if you transfer your credits to a similar program at another institution and you complete or are in the process of completing that program. However, if you believe you have a claim, such as fraud, against your school under state law, you may still pursue debt relief based on borrower defense to repayment, as described below, even if you transfer your credits to another school.

11. What exactly does it mean to have my federal student loans discharged? 

By accepting and receiving a closed school loan discharge, you have no further obligation to repay the loan, and you will receive reimbursement of payments made voluntarily or through forced collection, and the discharge will be reported to credit bureaus so as to delete any adverse credit history associated with the loan.

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

No, not if you completed or are in the process of completing a comparable program of study at the new institution.

13. I recently enrolled at a new school in a comparable program of study to what I was enrolled in at ITT but did not receive credit for the work completed at ITT. Am I still eligible for a closed school loan discharge?

Yes, assuming you meet all other eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for a closed school loan discharge of the loans you received to finance your course of study at ITT.

14. I transferred from ITT and enrolled in a completely different program of study at a new school and completed the new program. Are the previous loans from ITT dischargeable?

Yes, because the program of study at the new school is completely different than that of the closed school, for which the loans were intended.

15. How does ED define a “comparable program of study” when considering eligibility for a closed school loan discharge?

ED looks at a number of factors when determining if the program of study at a new institution is considered comparable to that previously taken at ITT. These may include:

  • the academic or professional nature of the two programs;
  • the similarity in course requirements;
  • the treatment of transfer credits by the institution accepting the credits (for example: as general education credits or electives, or as credits toward completion of the core program); and
  • the disposition of a state approving agency or accrediting agency on the comparability of the programs.

You must act in good faith and to the best of your knowledge in completing discharge application forms, including when answering the question as to whether you have completed or are in the process of completing a comparable program of study. 

You should also carefully consider the number of ITT credits a receiving institution will accept for transfer into a comparable program of study before making the decision to forgo applying for a closed school loan discharge. For example, if a receiving institution is willing to only accept a small number of your ITT credits towards completion of a comparable program of study, a closed school loan discharge may prove a more suitable option for you.

NOTE: If the receiving school does an evaluation of competency through testing or interviews that exempts you from taking core credits for a comparable program, you are ineligible for a closed school loan discharge.

16. How do I apply for a closed school discharge?

To apply for loan forgiveness through a closed school discharge, you can either

You may also want to review the overview of the discharge process.

NOTE: All completed Closed School Loan Discharge Applications must be sent to your loan servicer.

17. How do I find out which loan servicer is servicing my account?

Log in to My Federal Student Aid or call 1-800-4-FED-AID.

18. What is the deadline for applying for a closed school discharge?

There is no deadline for applying for a closed school discharge.

19. I was recently granted closed school loan discharge. Do I have to report the discharged amount as taxable income on this year’s tax return?

No. A taxpayer whose federal student loan is discharged under the closed school discharge process does not need to report the amount of the discharged loan in gross income on your federal income tax return.

20. I have nonfederal loans through private lenders. How can I get those loans discharged?

The information above pertains only to your federal student loans. You will need to contact the private lender that originated (made) the loan to discuss your options.

21. I am a veteran and was using GI Bill benefits to finance my education at ITT. How does the closure affect me and my benefits?

As noted on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) GI Bill website, the VA does not have the legal authority to restore GI Bill benefits to veterans who are impacted by ITT’s closure. To learn more about your options or to speak with a representative about your GI Bill benefits, contact the VA’s Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551. If you’re interested in transferring your credits to another institution, you are also encouraged to use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to find the program that’s right for you. You may also be eligible to receive personalized counseling and support through VA’s Education and Career Counseling program to help you identify an institution that aligns with your educational goals. ED also offers personalized counseling and support to eligible veterans through Veterans Upward Bound and Education Opportunity Centers.

Nonfederal veterans organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) provide resources and programs which may also benefit you. The VFW’s Emergency Grant Program provides funding on a case-by-case basis to assist eligible student veterans with unmet living expenses. In addition, the VFW provides scholarships for eligible student veterans who have exhausted their GI Bill benefits.

22. Am I eligible for relief through a state tuition recovery fund?

Tuition recovery funds generally reimburse charges not covered by other sources. For example, the closed school loan discharge payments would cover the federal loan balances while the tuition recovery fund payments could cover expenses such as private loans and cash payments that were directed toward tuition payments at the closed school. The availability of such a fund and the requirements of each state are different. For information on availability and eligibility, see column J of this spreadsheet.

23. I believe I may have been a victim of fraud by my school. What are my options?

Borrower defense to repayment is a process that enables you to request that ED forgive your loans because your school misled you when you obtained a federal loan to attend the school. Currently, your school’s misconduct must be a violation of state law for the claim to succeed. If your borrower defense application is successful, ED may forgive all or a portion of your federal student loans, and may refund amounts already paid by you on those loans.

Learn more about loan discharges based on borrower defense, and get information about how to apply for loan relief on this basis.

24. What are my options if I graduated from ITT prior to its closure and owe federal student loans?

You are still responsible for repayment of the loans taken out to finance your education at ITT. However, students who attended a school and believe they were defrauded or that their school otherwise violated applicable state law may be eligible for a type of loan forgiveness called borrower defense to repayment.

Learn about loan discharges based on borrower defense, and get information about how to apply for loan relief on this basis.

25. If I have not received my 1098-T form from ITT to complete my taxes, is there a way I can obtain one?

In January 2017, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Southern Indiana approved a petition from ITT’s Trustee to contract with Heartland ECSI to provide former ITT students with their 1098-T tax forms. Form 1098-T is a statement that reports tuition expenses you paid for college tuition and related expenses. The statements were mailed to ITT students on Jan. 31, 2017. If you have not received your 2016 1098-T statement, request a copy directly via Heartland ECSI’s web portal.

26. If I have further questions, where can I get assistance?

If you have further questions, feel free to call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID.

ED also announced that a coalition of organizations is spearheading efforts to match ITT students with experienced financial aid and academic advisors across the country to help navigate the options available. Contact them to talk to a volunteer advisor.