WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema today called on the Department of Education to help Argosy University students who cannot complete their degree programs due to the school’s financial troubles. The mismanagement of Argosy University has left nearly 500 students in Arizona without stipends since December 2018. Without their stipends these students, many of whom are veterans, are unable to pay for rent, groceries, and other necessities.
Sinema’s letter—cosigned by Senators Dick Durbin and Tina Smith—requests that the Department of Education protect and assist Argosy students while holding Argosy University and its parent company, Dream Center Education Holdings, accountable. The letter asks the Department of Education to execute teach-out agreements for Argosy students so they may finish their programs at other institutions, protect students by notifying them of their rights and their debt obligations, and require Argosy to extend the window for students to be eligible for closed school discharge.
“Poor management has left hundreds of Arizona students with no clear path forward to finish their education. We need to act so these students can achieve their American dream,” said Sinema.
“We write today to urge the U.S. Department of Education (Department) to take immediate action to assist students in the aftermath of Argosy University’s closure,” the Senators wrote in a letter to Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. “On October 17, 2017, the Department gave its preliminary approval to Dream Center Education Holdings (DCEH) to acquire the former for-profit Education Management Corporation campuses—including Argosy University, South University, and the Art Institutes—and convert them to non-profit status. While the Department never granted full approval to the sale and conversion, it failed to condition its preliminary approval on adequate protections for students and taxpayers—setting off a long chain of events that has severely harmed students and wasted taxpayer dollars.”
On January 19th, Argosy University’s parent company, Dream Center Education Holdings, decided to enter into receivership, which prevents Argosy from closing while allowing DCEH to continue receiving federal aid. Following that decision, the Department of Education cut off Title IV federal student loan and grant funds for Argosy University on February 27th.
The full text of the letter is available HERE.