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For-profit Argosy University shuts down in Phoenix, rest of country

(Yelp Photo)

PHOENIX – The financially strapped Argosy University chain, which has a campus in Phoenix, shut down Friday, just days after it was denied federal student aid.

The U.S. Department of Education hadn’t listed the chain on its schools closure page, but students in the Valley were scrambling to get their records to transfer to other schools, ABC15 reported.

School officials had informed students Wednesday that unless a buyer was found or a teach-out agreement reached with another university, it would close by the end of the business week.

Federal officials said earlier this week the for-profit schools owed students more than $13 million in stipends, money that was used, instead, to pay staff.

The 11-campus university website homepage made no mention of the closure, but the individual campuses listed under location each posted a similar note:

The site also instructed students how to request their transcripts.

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and a number of other senators sent a letter Friday asking the Department of Education to grant students valid, nonrestrictive teach-out agreements so they could finish their programs at other institutions.

Inside Higher Ed reported Argosy’s court-appointed receiver would be in federal court Monday to show evidence that the school met “certain standards, including administrative capability, financial responsibility.”

Nearly 9,000 students, 450 of them in Phoenix, take classes on campus. Online programs had about 7,000 students enrolled in 2016, according to a profile.

Mark Dottore, the court-appointed receiver, has said he has been looking for a buyer, filing an emergency motion Wednesday to “sell, transition or close” Argosy because “the receiver does not have the funding to continue to operate.”

“I would be shocked if somebody comes along at the 11th hour for this particular asset,” Trace Urdan, a managing director at Tyton Partners, a consulting firm, told the publication.

Parent company Dream Center Education Holdings also owns the Art Institute chain, which will be shut down, as well.

The Art Institute of Phoenix closed in December, citing falling attendance.

Online-only Northcentral University said it would waive first-course tuition for Argosy students who transferred to the Scottsdale-based school.

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