(FOX 9) - Ever since Argosy University closed earlier this month, students across the country have scrambled to transfer their credits. Yet, few have had it harder than students in the dental hygienist program, since all similar programs in Minnesota are at capacity.
“This is heartbreaking,” student Nicole Knutson said Tuesday in front of Argosy University’s Eagan campus.
Knutson’s hopes have been crushed for the last two weeks, when she and approximately 1,000 of her peers have been shut out.
“I feel like my dreams got locked inside those doors,” she said.
The chain of 22 career schools across the country closed after Argosy went into receivership, which is when someone steps in to take control of a company’s finances.
“It took me three years just to get into the program, so this is pretty devastating,” the freshman told FOX 9.
Days before the official closure, the U.S. Department of Education said Argosy failed to pay more than $16 million in financial aid to students across the U.S., describing the actions as a “blatant disregard of the needs of its students.”
Senior John Hanna, who now owes $50,000 in student loans, frantically looks for a way to complete his degree.
“We need help, we really need them to step up,” he said.
According to the Office of Higher Education, Minnesota colleges seeking to enroll impacted Argosy students must first secure the necessary accreditation approvals with the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) so they can take on new students.
“They will not accept any dental hygiene credits, so it looks like it will be a complete start over if nobody helps us,” Knutson said.
While representatives from the Office of Higher Education say this is “a horrible situation for students,” the accreditation process could take “several months to years.”
“It’s just another [pat] on the shoulder. We need help, we need actions…talk is cheap,” Hanna said.
The Minnesota Board of Dentistry also learned about the closure the same time students did.
Representatives with the board say they also share their concerns and hope other CODA-approved dental hygiene programs can work with these students so they can complete their training and obtain their degrees.