Closure of Park West Barber School Campuses
Citing financial strain from the increasing costs of operating multiple campuses across states, on March 29, 2016, Park West Barber School decided to cease instruction and operations at their Greensboro and Raleigh (NC) locations as well as their Alexandria (VA) and Rockhill (SC) campuses. On April 15, Park West ceased operations at their main location in Durham (NC).
On April 5, Park West Barber School’s accreditor, the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences approved Park West’s request to voluntarily relinquish the accreditation of its programs across the closed campuses and its main campus, resulting in the loss of accreditation across the entire chain. As a result of the announced closures and the subsequent withdrawal of accreditation, all locations within the Park West Barber School chain have lost their eligibility to receive federal student aid funds from the U.S. Department of Education (ED).
If you were attending a Park West Barber School location that closed on March 29 or April 15, 2016, or withdrew from the school within the last 120 days before March 29 or April 15 (as appropriate based on your campus), you have two options:
1. Apply for a closed school loan discharge or
2. Transfer earned credit hours to another institution to continue your education in a comparable program
Closed School Loan Discharge
If your Park West location closed while you were attending or soon after you withdrew, and you did not complete your program of study, you may be eligible for a closed school discharge. A closed school discharge is a 100% discharge of the federal Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, or Federal Perkins Loans you took out to attend the closed school and a reimbursement of amounts you have already paid to the government.
To apply for loan forgiveness through a closed school discharge, you can either
- complete and return the Closed School Loan Discharge Application sent to you by your servicer or complete this Closed School Loan Discharge Application and return it to your loan servicer, or
- contact your loan servicer about the application process for getting your loan discharged.
Note: Your Closed School Loan Discharge Application must be sent to your loan servicer. To find out who your loan servicer is, log in to My Federal Student Aid or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-800-730-8913).
You can no longer use your Federal Student Aid PIN. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create an FSA ID—a username and password—to log in.
Read our overview of the closed school loan discharge process for more information about the process and eligibility.
We encourage you to avoid paying companies for student loan consolidation or forgiveness services that your federal loan servicer provides on behalf of ED for free. Read our post on your rights and options as a borrower.
Instead of applying for a closed school discharge, you may wish to keep the credits or hours you’ve earned from Park West and transfer those credits or hours to another school with a comparable program. If you do transfer into a comparable program offered by another school, that school will evaluate your Park West course work and will decide whether to give you credit for the work already completed and will determine what courses you need to take to complete your program of study.
ED is working with Park West officials, as well as representatives from the requisite North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia state licensing and postsecondary education oversight bodies, to process student records from the closed Park West locations as soon as possible so that transfer schools can start assessing students’ remaining eligibility for federal student aid funds.
Park West and state officials are in the process of identifying institutions with similar programs that may accept students from the closed Park West campuses. For information on how to access and obtain your student records and transcripts and to view a listing of licensed institutions with similar programs in your area, please visit Park West’s Web page or contact your state licensing authority.
Note: Neither ED nor your requisite state licensing body have confirmed that the institutions listed on Park West’s Web site will accept Park West credits or hours as part of any transfer. Students interested in any of the programs listed should contact the institution to determine whether they can transfer their credits or hours.
If you transfer the credits or hours you have earned at Park West toward a comparable program at another school, you will not be eligible to receive a closed school loan discharge.
You may also contact ED’s School Eligibility Service Group team at (202) 377-3173 or e-mail your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.