State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

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Current Advisories

Statement to parties seeking information about official state certification and/or authentication of diplomas:

Pursuant to Virginia Code section 23.1-900.01, "each public institution of higher education and private institution of higher education may provide any diploma or other proof of education to requesting individuals or entities using the method that it deems appropriate, in either electronic or paper form." Please consult the university or college registrar's office or website for further details.

Advisories

  • Piedmont School of Professional Massage

    WARNING - Student records from the Piedmont School of Professional Massage are only valid if they come from:
    Renate Grooms
    13885 Hedgewood Dr., Ste. 333
    Dale City, VA 22193
    pspmschool@aol.com
    Transcripts generated from other sources have been deemed to be fraudulent academic credentials. It has recently come to light that other individuals may be attempting to pass themselves off as registrars from the institution. Individuals engaging in this activity are in violation of Virginia law.
     
  • Argosy University - Northern Virginia

    March 11, 2019

    The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has been notified that Dream Center Education Holdings, the parent company of Argosy University, announced the school’s closure effective immediately. The closure affects approximately 470 students attending Argosy University – Northern Virginia in Arlington and comes days after the U.S. Department of Education (USED) terminated the school’s participation in federal student aid programs on February 27. 

    Students understandably may have questions about the following topics:

    INSTITUTIONAL TRANSFER

    Students were invited to attend Transfer Fairs on campus Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8, 2019, and Dream Center Education Holdings has published a list of partner institutions on its website at www.dcedh.org/partner-institutions

    Additionally, students displaced by school closures can explore their options at NextStepsEd (www.nextstepsed.org), an online ticketing portal funded by the Lumina Foundation. SCHEV makes no endorsement of their advising, and we encourage all students to contact Virginia institutions to discuss the transferability of credits earned at Argosy University – Northern Virginia.

    FEDERAL LOANS

    In February, the USED announced it would cancel any federal debt students acquired to pay for the spring semester at Argosy University. USED personnel will contact eligible students and post further information at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/dream-center.

    If currently enrolled students did not have the opportunity to complete their program because of Argosy’s closure, they may be eligible for a complete discharge of their federal student loans. (If Argosy students transfer to another school for the purpose of completing the program for which they took out a loan while at Argosy, they will not be eligible to receive a closed school loan discharge.) More information is available at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school

    STUDENT ACADEMIC AND FINANCIAL RECORDS 

    At this time, Argosy University has not provided specific information to SCHEV about where student academic and financial records will be permanently housed. Argosy officials report that the registrar’s office on the Arlington campus will remain open until March 15, 2019, and current students can obtain unofficial copies of their transcript through the Argosy University Student Portal. Additionally, Argosy University will mail official transcripts and diplomas (where appropriate) to all current students free of charge. 

    Current and former students who want to obtain official transcripts should print and complete the Transcript Request Form available at www.argosy.edu/closed-school-information. The signed form and payment information should be mailed to:
    Dream Center Education Holdings
    ATTN: Academic Operations Department
    1400 Penn Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15222

    Mailed requests typically require three (3) weeks processing time.
     
    February 28, 2019

    On February 27, 2019, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) notified Argosy University that the school’s participation in the federal student aid programs was terminated effective immediately. USED took this step because Argosy does not meet certain standards, including administrative capability and financial responsibility. Argosy’s failure to pay credit balance refunds owed to its students demonstrates that Argosy cannot meet the required standards.

    This denial decision applies to Argosy’s campus in Arlington, which means that students cannot receive future federal student aid if they continue to attend this school. If the school closes, current Argosy students may be eligible for a 100% discharge of their federal loans if:
    • The school closes while they are enrolled, and they don’t complete their academic program because of the closure, or
    • The school closes within 120 days after they withdraw.

    If students want to explore transfer options, they should note that it is up to the transfer institution to decide how many credits will be accepted. SCHEV staff are currently working to create a list of nearby institutions that offer comparable programs, which we will share with all Argosy students as soon as it is available. Students also can check out www.CollegeScorecard.ed.gov to explore their transfer options.

    More information about this most recent development and how it might impact Argosy students is available at www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/dream-center

    February 25, 2019

    SCHEV has been notified that Los Angeles-based Dream Center Education Holdings, the parent company of Argosy University, was recently placed on Heightened Cash Monitoring 2 (HCM2) status by the U.S. Department of Education (USED). The decision by USED sometimes places a financial burden on a school. The media and SCHEV have received reports from students that they have not received their financial aid stipends from the school. The situation affects the approximately 470 students attending Argosy University in Arlington, VA.

    Stipends and financial aid 
    The most recent information from the USED is that it will cancel any federal debt students acquired to pay for the spring semester. USED personnel will contact eligible students and post further information on its website (www.ed.gov) in coming days.

    Transcripts and Student Financial records 
    Argosy University administrators at the Northern Virginia campus have informed SCHEV that a copy of each student's transcript will be mailed to them free of charge. Current students should log in to the Argosy Student Portal and confirm that their address is correct.

    Students also can obtain additional copies of their unofficial transcript or financial ledger card via the Argosy Student Portal. To print unofficial copies of student transcripts, log in to the Student Portal and select the "My Academics" tab. For financial information, go to "My Finances" and select the "My Account" tab. If students have additional questions about their academic or financial records, they should contact Argosy University directly at 703-526-5800. 

    What’s Next?
    SCHEV is monitoring closely the situation with Argosy University. Our hope is that the school will weather this financial difficulty. However, should the school close, SCHEV will work with the school’s accrediting agency and USED to find solutions for the displaced students.  At this time, we have no specific information about transfer or teach-out possibilities. Please monitor this website for additional information as it becomes available.
     

     
  • Virginia College

    Update 1/30/19 - Virginia College students seeking refunds of unearned tuition will need to complete the Student Tuition Guaranty Fund claim form, and submit it to SCHEV along with copies of their Enrollment Agreement or contract, completed W-9, and proof of payment for all tuition payments made to the school (i.e. promissory note, school receipt, cancelled check – front and back, credit card receipt, or statement showing charge to school).

    Students had to be enrolled at the time of Virginia College’s closure to be eligible for the partial refund. If the tuition was paid by a student loan, the refund will be sent to the lender with any remaining balance going to the student. Students have three years from the date of the school closure to file a claim against the Student Tuition Guaranty Fund.

    Update 12/18/18 - The US Department of Education is hosting a series of interactive informational webinars for Virginia College students to address students’ questions and
    concerns. To view a schedule of upcoming webinars or to sign up to participate, visit the US DOE website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/education-corporation-america-webinars.pdf. A closed caption option is available for the hearing impaired.

    December 14, 2018
    The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has been notified that Education Corporation of America, the parent company of Virginia College, has had its accreditation suspended by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), resulting in the closure of more than 75 campuses nationwide. In the Commonwealth, this impacts approximately 300 students attending the Virginia College campus in Midlothian, which will close its doors in mid-December.

    SCHEV has prepared an information sheet for students currently enrolled at Virginia College. Additionally, SCHEV is working with Virginia College administrators to obtain academic and financial records for current students and to ensure that former students’ records are preserved and maintained in accordance with Virginia regulatory requirements. 

    Please monitor this website for additional information as it becomes available. 
     
  • University of Northern Virginia

    WARNING: Student records from the University of Northern Virginia should not be accepted as official documents. Neither transcripts nor diplomas from the institution can be verified as true and accurate. 

    Despite the University of Northern Virginia’s 2013 closure and revocation of its certificate to operate in Virginia, several individuals are currently attempting to pass themselves off as registrars from the institution. It has recently come to light that these supposed registrars are operating from a Virginia post office box and offering students “replacement diplomas” for as little as $150. Individuals engaging in this activity are in violation of Virginia law.
  • Regency Beauty Institute

    Institution Closure: 10/3/16

    Regency Beauty student letter [pdf]

    SCHEV has been notified that Regency Beauty Institute voluntarily closed all of its Virginia locations on September 28, 2016. SCHEV is working with their accreditor, the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences (NACCAS), as well as the Board of Barbers and Cosmetology to find solutions for  students of Regency Beauty Institute who were enrolled at the time of closure.  

    Currently,  Regency is working with other accredited cosmetology schools to complete a “teach-out” plan. Students are encouraged to visit the school website (www.regency.edu)
    to receive updates on the options that will be available to them. 

    Students who were eligible for  federal financial aid may also visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/regency  for information from the US Department of Education regarding their student loans. 

    Additionally, SCHEV will work with the administration of the institution to obtain academic and financial records for current students as well as to ensure  the preservation of student records for  former students.  Periodic updates regarding the Regency closure will be posted to the SCHEV website (www.schev.edu).   
     

© 2019 State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
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