News

Anthem’s accrediting agency inventories options for students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Tony Bieda, 202.336.6781

Washington, D.C. – 9.5.14: The accrediting authority for more than 25 Anthem and Florida Career Colleges in 11 states has issued guidance to students of the career colleges who may be displaced by recent changes at the institutions, including changes of ownership at some of the campuses and sudden or pending closures at other campuses. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) has provided quality assurance for the Anthem/FCC family of institutions since 1972.

“The closure or potential closure of colleges and schools poses substantial risk and anxiety for students. However, ACICS standards and the expectations of Council require the institutions to abide by the formal requirements established to protect students and their educational accomplishments,” said Albert C. Gray, president and CEO of ACICS. “Failure to comply with those requirements has consequences for the owners and operators of the schools, including the immediate revocation of accreditation, thereby ending the institution’s eligibility to participate in federal student financial aid programs, and the debarment from owning or managing ACICS accredited schools in the future.”

Gray said that under published standards, students attending ACICS institutions have a right to expect that the school continue to operate according the terms of its accreditation, including providing the means for students to complete their programs of study, even when it is curtailing or stopping operations. Furthermore, students should demand the school follow its published and approved refund policy; provide students access to a grievance process and respond to formal complaints, and that the school’s credit transfer policy is applied diligently and faithfully. A complete inventory of student’s rights is available at www.acics.org.

Gray advised students of the following additional resources:

Transfer to complete the credential: Anthem students who are eligible to transfer to another accredited institution with which Anthem/FCC has a formal agreement should contact:

  • Hotline for students of an Anthem/Florida Career College campus that closed: 1-800-987-0110 (Arizona and Texas locations only)
  • 844-692-6843, Student Support Team for students not enrolled in Arizona or Texas.
  • Email : teachout@anthem.edu  

Teach-out of current program at an Anthem campus: Contact Anthem through the information provided above to find out which institution, if any, will be providing the instruction that enables the student to fulfill the requirements for the credential they have been working toward, including the institution’s accreditation and its authority to provide instruction in the program related to that specific credential (diploma, certificate or degree).

Student refunds: For students who are unable to complete their education at the Anthem campus in which they enrolled because of campus closure, the institution is required to provide a refund for the tuition and fees paid to date. Contact Anthem through the information provided above about the application process for refunds and the interval for receiving full payment. In addition, depending on the state, a tuition recovery fund or surety bond may be available to compensate students for the inability to complete their education. For a list of authorizing entities by state, go to http://www.nasasps.org/listing-of-regular-members

Student loans: Students who participate in Federal Student Aid programs (Title IV subsidized education loans) may be eligible to apply for discharge of their debt. The U.S. Department of Education has information about the requirements and process. The fact that the school closed does not automatically relieve a student of his/her obligation to repay federal loans. Students are urged to contact their loan servicer to request loan forgiveness through the U.S. Department of Education. Information on how to request a discharge should have been sent to you by your servicer and is also available at: https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school
Student transcripts and financial aid records: The closing campus is required to provide for the safe keeping of all student academic records (transcripts) and student financial aid records, and to convey those in a secure manner to students or the institutions they designate upon request. For more information about how to gain access to transcripts and financial aid records, contact Anthem through the information provided above.

“ACICS expects the institutions to communicate directly with students on all of these matters and others as frequently and as intensely as necessary,” Gray said. “In evaluating the status of accreditation and the principles’ eligibility to own or manage accredited career colleges in the future, all of these performance dimensions will be monitored and taken into consideration.”

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