what to do if your school closes

How to React to a University Suddenly Closing (New - Add just below the Hero Image)

A recent rash of colleges and universities have gone out of business, leaving students in a precarious position. What do you do when your college or university closes? Alumni are often left wondering if their degrees or certificates from closed schools are still valid, while current students must navigate transferring to new schools and the financial implications of their college closing.

Schools are closed for reasons that range from financial troubles to suspended or revoked accreditations. (Education Drive, an education-industry publication, lists more than 50 schools that have, since 2016, either closed or merged with other institutions.)

Your college closing doesn't mean that your educational journey has to end!
CSU Global makes it easy to transfer your existing credits to one of our 100% online, career-driven programs.

If your college or university closes, don’t panic: There are still ways to complete your degree program, get copies of your transcript, and verify your degree. For details on each of these processes, see the relevant sections below.

Continuing Your Education If Your University Shuts Down

You’ve already invested a lot of time and money into your education. Don’t quit now! Your current school may provide information on transfer or degree-completion options; be sure to review them before considering alternatives.

  • Teach-out – A teach-out is an agreement between schools that provides for the equitable treatment of students and an opportunity for students to complete their program of study. If your school is offering a teach-out option, and you are comfortable with their ability to deliver on that promise, you can stay the course.
  • Transfer your credits to a new school – If you can’t stay at your new school, or don't want to finish with them, then explore your options for transferring your credits to another college or university where you can finish your degree. Check to see if your school has made arrangements with another institution to make transferring easier. If they have, make sure that the school can provide you with exactly what you are looking for by reviewing its degree program in detail. Don’t settle for getting your degree at a school with a bad reputation, or in a subject that isn't exactly what you want to study, and certainly don't take any unnecessary risks. Even if your school has arranged a transfer program with another institution, you'll still have options to transfer your credits to other colleges or universities that offer the specific degree you want to finish, and who also offer the credibility and stability to support your long-term career goals.

Transferring credits does have limits. Most schools will only take up to 60 or 90 credits, depending on the length of the degree program you’re choosing. Be involved when your transcripts are being reviewed — and don’t be afraid to ask for a second review if you feel something was missed in your credit evaluation. 

During this process, be sure to ask about transferring traditional credits as well as past work experience. CSU Global accepts all applicants who have completed an Associate degree from an accredited community college, and accepts junior, community, and career college transfer credit. Additionally, CSU Global may transfer previous work or life experience to college credit through self-study assessments, prior learning assessments, or credit by exam

Online Education Isn’t Another Thing We Do, It’s All We Do®
Learn more about our job-focused online degree programs built to provide you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need to launch a successful lifelong career.

Paying Student Loans or Tuition Bills If Your College Closes

Most students wonder how their school’s closing will affect their loans. The answer isn’t simple, as it actually depends on how the school was closed. If the school completely shuts down, you may be eligible to discharge your federal student loans. If the school is offering a teach-out option, you can opt-out and still may qualify to have your loans discharged — though this option is not available if the school was merged with or was purchased by another school.

If you are planning on discharging your student loans, please remember:

  • You cannot discharge your loans if you are transferring to another school.
  • If you discharge your loans and then complete your degree elsewhere, you could be liable for those loans again.
  • Because a discharged loan is counted as taxable income, make sure you understand the financial implications of discharging loans.

For more information about discharging a student loan because of a school closure, visit: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school.

How to Verify a Degree and Get Transcripts From Closed Universities and Colleges

When your school closes, it’s critical to consider where documentation for your education stands. How can you verify you've earned a degree from a closed school, and how can you get transcripts from your college or university if it's shut down? Fortunately, it's possible, and in some cases relatively easy, to do both of these things.

Whether you're concerned about how to prove your education credentials to an employer, or you just want to get a copy of your transcripts in case you decide to enroll in a degree completion program or graduate program down the line, you don't need to worry. If your college closes after you’ve graduated, your degree remains valid, but it is a good idea to get a copy of the certificate or diploma that was given when you completed your degree program.

During the process of closing down, your school is likely to establish a process for getting your academic transcripts. Some shuttered schools will set up a document repository with another institution, while others may use a transcript service. 

We recommend ordering multiple copies of your transcripts as soon as you hear that the school will be closing, as well as saving a copy of the current academic catalog, for your records. 

Additionally, another school or the state’s Department of Higher Education will assume responsibility for storing all academic records for your closed school. The U.S. Department of Education has a “Closed School Guide for Students” to help you get your official transcripts.

How to Transfer Credits To A New School If Your University Goes Virtual

If your college or university goes virtual in lieu of closing down completely, measure your options. Your education is an important investment, and successful online learning requires robust tools and systems in place. Many schools may have just incorporated online classes, but don’t have the best tools to make online learning work for their students. 

If you’re not confident about your university’s ability to provide an excellent virtual education, you still have options. Look into transferring to a different college, or investigate online universities. 

Why You Should Consider Completing Your Education Online with CSU Global

CSU Global was the first independent, fully accredited, 100% online state university, and our excellent, online Bachelor's and Master's Degree programs were designed to help you develop the real-world skills you need to succeed in the workplace. 

We've always been an online university, so our programs are built with the systems and tools needed to make online learning easy while remaining effective. Choosing to study with CSU Global will allow you to take charge of your future so you can elevate your career prospects with confidence.

You can trust in our ability to deliver an excellent education and a degree that will command respect, as we recently earned several excellent rankings, including:

  • A Top 10 ranking for Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs and Top 7 ranking for Best Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans from U.S. News & World Report.
  • A #3 ranking for Best Colleges in Colorado from Best Value Schools.
  • A #3 ranking for Best Value Online Graduate School from Value Colleges.

Finally, to save you time and money, we also offer competitive tuition rates and a Tuition Guarantee to ensure that your affordable tuition won’t increase between enrollment and graduation.

To get additional details about our regionally accredited, online Bachelor's Degrees and online Master's programs please give us a call at (800) 462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form.

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Updated 11/09/2021