EAGAN, Minn. (FOX 9) - Argosy University, a for-profit college with a campus in Eagan, Minnesota, will be closing Friday, citing financial problems. Thursday afternoon, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education received official confirmation of the university's closure.
One of the first signs Argosy was in serious trouble came earlier this year, when students were told the federal government would no longer be making student loan payments to the school. Now, come May, the state will not be paying either.
On Wednesday, students received an email about the school's impending closure, saying the Twin Cities campus may shut its doors by the end of the week because the school is no longer eligible for federal financial aid. Now it appears, the fate is sealed.
Pete Stude had been studying at Argosy to be a histologist, a medical professional who does tissue sample work.
“I had a plan,” said Stude. “I’m not always best at plans, so it’s great I had one, but now I feel left in the dust.”
Students across the country have not received $16 million in financial assistance from Argosy. The U.S. Department of Education is accusing the school of improperly withholding millions of dollars in financial aid from students and spending it in other places.
“They believe the federal financial aid that was supposed to be dispersed to students was used for other expenses, inappropriately used by the school for payroll or other related expenses,” Minnesota Office of Higher Education Commissioner Dennis Olson told FOX 9 last week. “Those were funds supposed to be issued to the students, but were not.”
Argosy will be holding informational fairs on Thursday and Friday, telling students about transfer options or possibly getting loan forgiveness. Students are advised to obtain a copy of their official academic transcripts as soon as possible.
“It was just sad, just depressing because even just going to school the building felt different you know,” said Stude.
Commissioner Olson says the Office of Higher Education is planning to hold their own fair next week and says they will have more transfer options for students then.
Mark Dottore, the receiver for Dream Center Education Holdings, which owns Argosy, says the university is helping students look at their options.
“We are working with students, accreditors, state regulators and the U.S. Department of Education to provide as many options as possible for students, to include transfer to another higher education institution or student loan discharge,” read the statement in part.
Argosy is not to the first for-profit college to shut down and leave students scrambling in recent years.
Last year, McNally Smith College of Music filed for bankruptcy. The St. Paul school abruptly closed after more than three decades, blaming years of declining enrollment and revenue.
In 2016, Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business also shutdown, with 1,700 hundreds students enrolled in three states, including Minnesota.