Argosy students in Phoenix, rest of US lose financial aid, face school closure

Feb 28, 2019, 11:34 AM | Updated: Mar 1, 2019, 8:08 am
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PHOENIX – A national chain of universities with a campus in metro Phoenix has been denied federal financial aid, leaving students in a bind and possibly without a school.

The U.S. Department of Education said Wednesday in a post the schools owed students across the country more than $13 million in stipends, money that was improperly spent.

Inside Higher Ed reported Thursday the doors had been locked at the Phoenix campus near Thunderbird Road and Interstate 17.

The government said that “Argosy’s failure to pay credit balance refunds owed to its students and parents demonstrates that Argosy cannot meet the required standards.”

Argosy had until March 11 to show evidence that it met “certain standards, including administrative capability, financial responsibility …” the education department said.

About 9,000 students overall have been waiting for their aid money since January, about the same time the chain went into receivership. They have been informed they could begin looking elsewhere to finish their studies.

Argosy has about 450 students on campus, according to school information, the majority of them 27 to 58 years old.

A DataUSA profile of the Phoenix campus said the online division had 7,117 enrolled in 2016 and undergraduate tuition that year averaged $18,000.

In a letter to all students dated Jan. 24, Chancellor Cynthia Baum said, “The ultimate goal of receivership is to protect Argosy’s ongoing operations and, most importantly, your student experience.”

The letter went on to say they were working with accreditors, state regulators and the federal government, and that school remained accredited.

Argosy also ran the nonprofit Art Institute of Phoenix, which closed in December, after enrollment struggles.

Dream Center Education Holdings, which has an office in Chandler, bought both groups in 2017. Vendor lawsuits led the parent company to seek court-appointed receivership.

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Argosy students in Phoenix, rest of US lose financial aid, face school closure