Argosy University settlement offers debt relief to former students
The multistate agreement waives loans taken directly from Argosy by students who began attendance on or after October 17, 2017. It also prevents any further collections and negative credit reports against these students.
“Georgians who have been misled by the University and its owners deserve relief, and we hope this agreement sends the message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated,” Carr said.
Carr’s office said students awaiting debt relief will receive notification that there has been a discharge and cancellation of all outstanding balances.
Argosy has offered master’s and doctoral degrees in areas such as business, clinical psychology, and law. About 1,500 students have attended classes at its Georgia campus near Atlanta. Annual tuition was around $20,000.
The university changed hands about a year before it closed as its finances were in a tailspin. Students rushed to get their transcripts as word spread about the school’s money troubles in its final days.
Former Argosy students like Ellenwood resident Ashley Jones, 37, say the closure has turned their lives upside down. Jones, who was pursuing a master’s degree in counseling, said she and her friends in her course program helped each other through the chaos.
“It was therapists going to see other therapists,” Jones said.
Jones and a few friends graduated from the University of West Georgia in December 2020. She owes approximately $50,000 in loans that were not taken directly from Argosy. She thinks more guarantees are needed to help students when a school is in financial difficulty.
“Institutions shouldn’t be able to tell students, ‘Hey, we’re closing and you have to find your own way,'” she said.
Many college funding experts, such as Yasmin Farahi of the Center for Responsible Lending, say the federal government should reinstate the paid employment rule. It required for-profit schools to meet various guidelines to remain eligible for federal financial aid.
Some attorneys general are also asking U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to discharge the federal debt of Argosy alumni enrolled for more than 120 days before the school closes.
Argosy University Timeline
January 2016: Education Management Corporation (EDMC), which operated Argosy, reaches a settlement with 39 States and Washington, DC, over allegations that included the use of deceptive recruiting practices.
March 2017: EDMC announces its intention to sell Argosy to the Dream Center.
July 2018: Dream Center announces by email its intention to close 30 campuses, with no planned closing date.
March 2019: Closure of Argosy University.
February 2022: The owners of Argosy reach an agreement with officials from 10 states to provide student debt relief to certain former students.
Source: Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.