Education is costly. But whatever you spend on your education is an investment, not an expense. However, things start to go sideways when your school abruptly shuts down, such as the Harrison College closing.
Some schools get involved in fraudulent activities or misconduct, which leaves you confused about what to do next. Usually, alumni wonder if their degrees or certificates from closed colleges are still valid or worth anything.
Are you left stranded with no way out, or will it work for you even if there is a way? We understand that this is a frustrating situation, but you can find a way to bring peace of mind.
This guide will help you know everything you need to know about Harrison College closing. We’ll answer questions such as:
- What happens to student loans if school closes?
- Why did Harrison College shut down?
Harrison College Lawsuit
The Harrison College lawsuit began when a District Judge in Indiana heard a settlement case in April 2020. The settlement case was filed by debt collectors and former students of Harrison College in January 2020.
According to the student’s claims, the school, together with its affiliates, committed fraud and breach of contract. They won the case, and the judge ordered that students whose last attendance date was September 1, 2018, or later would receive loan forgiveness.
The student loan forgiveness also included students whose accounts were placed with Key 2 Recovery for debt collections.
Harrison College Closing
Harrison College officially closed down the school on September 1, 2018. Even without the Harrison College lawsuit application, the school gave the students various options.
The Harrison College closing was a huge blow, but students could transfer to a college with a comparable program using the teach-out program. The students could also apply for a discharge from Harrison College, closing student loans. (We’ll later talk more about what happens to student loans if school closes.)
A former president advised the students to reject their credits and opt for the student loan forgiveness options.
Why Did Harrison College Shut Down?
Harrison College closed down its borders without warning its students, which left them angry and shocked. The students couldn’t find an answer, and the campus at downtown Indianapolis never answered their phones.
Furthermore, the students had a meeting with the college representatives but got no information or direction.
So why did Harrison College shut down?
There was an email the school sent to its employees. According to the college’s board chairman, Craig Pfannenstiehi, the school had been under financial struggles for years. The financial pressures became stronger, and their limited resources weren’t enough to keep the school going.
The result was for the school to close down.
What Happens To Student Loans If School Closes?
Like Harrison College closing, numerous universities and colleges have closed down, leaving their students in an uncertain situation. So what happens to student loans if school closes? If you’re left with massive debt, you have two options:
- Transfer your academic credits and enroll in a different school
- Get your massive loans discharged
Unfortunately, you can’t do both so you’ll have to choose one. Let’s go through the different options.
Using Your Credits At A Different School
A teach-out program is an agreement between schools that allows you to complete your program of study. If a school offers a teach-out option, you can choose to keep on with your course.
However, you have to be sure the school will live up to its expectations and not end up like your closed school.
Transfer To A Different School
If you don’t prefer your current college, in this case, Harrison College, you can find other alternatives. You have to find out if your school has made arrangements with other institutions to make the transfer easier.
If your school has that option, make sure they give you what you need. It’s not ideally wise to take unnecessary complications or risks. Search for the schools that provide the programs you need, including credibility and stability to support your long-term goals.
Now, regarding the Harrison College closing, the board worked out an agreement with State governing bodies and their accreditors. The school ensured that each student has a straightforward way to finish their program of study.
The institution Harrison College chose was National American University for those in Indiana. The school worked closely with the Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools to identify transfer and teach-out partners for the students in Ohio.
Get Involved With The Harrison College Closing And Credit Evaluation
We recommend that you stay alert for all the information the school puts out, including those reviewing your transcripts. You should get involved when reviewing your transcripts, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or even a second review.
If you think the board left something, you can ask for a second review.
Apply For A Closed School Discharge
With Harrison College closing student loans, you can opt for your loans to be discharged if you don’t want the first option. Even though Harrison College offers teach-out and transfer options, you can still decide to go for a loan discharge.
However, if you take this route, keep the following points in mind:
- You can discharge your student loan debts and also transfer to another school.
- If your loans get discharged and you finish your degree in another institution, you could be held reliable for those student loans again.
- Discharged loans are considered taxable income.
Discharging Harrison College Closing Student Loans
You can only be eligible for a closed school loan discharge in only the following requirements:
- You were enrolled or on an approved leave of absence when the institution closed down.
- The closure happened within 120 days after you stopped without completing all your program of study.
As explained before, your student loans won’t get discharged if you proceed with your education elsewhere. You can contact your federal student loan servicer to apply for the student loan discharge. If you qualify, your loans will be discharged within three years.
Federal student loans eligible for a closed school student loan discharge are Direct Loans, Perkins loans, PLUS, and FFEL. You can choose to apply when the U.S. Department of Education confirms that school’s closure or wait for an automatic discharge of your student loans.
Apply For Borrower Defense To Repayment
If you completed your degree with Harrison College, you wouldn’t be eligible for a student loan discharge. However, if you can prove that the school defrauded you somehow, you can apply for loan forgiveness through borrower defense to repayment.
The loan forgiveness applies to all Direct Loans you got from Harrison College that falls under the BDAR application. You can find the application at the Federal student aid website. You’ll need the following information to apply:
- Enrollment dates
- The name of the school you attended and evidence of your enrollment dates
- Documentation that supports your allegations
Now, don’t assume that the college will discharge your student loans just because the institution closed down. You have to prove that Harrison College’s actions harmed you. However, closed school discharge is easier to get than borrower defense to repayment.
The Harrison College closing was unexpected. However, it doesn’t mean the end for you. But going through the various options discussed in this guide can be a daunting process. You may need to choose student loan experts to help you navigate the situation.