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Next Steps Ed

If your college has closed or you feel like you have been a victim of fraud, you'll need help navigating your options.

Let us help you walk through the options available and guide you down the correct path to success.

Did Your School Close?

Yes
No

Do you believe you were defrauded/misled by your institution?

YES

NO

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Did you receive any of the following types of loans?

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TIP

Take a picture of your signature using your smart phone – you’ll need an electronic version of your signature if you submit electronically or via email

CAUTION

Gather any supporting documentation before you start the application process

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STEP ONE:

You may qualify for borrower defense to repayment, and can find out by submitting the application

3 ways to submit your borrower defense to repayment application (choose only one):

  • Electronic submission
  • Email submission
  • Standard mail submission

Examples of documentation to submit:

  • Transcript, enrollment or registration documents
  • Promotional materials from your school
  • Emails between you and your school officials
  • Your school’s manual or course catalog

TIP

Take a picture of your signature using your smart phone – you’ll need an electronic version of your signature if you submit electronically or via email

CAUTION

Gather any supporting documentation before you start the application process

Caution button Tip button pencil pencil Laptop keyboard

STEP TWO:

Understanding Forbearance & Stopped Collection Status

After the Department of Education receives your claim, your loan can be placed into forbearance — meaning collections will cease on any loans in default.

You can choose this option within your application.

HOWEVER, interest will continue to accumulate.
If your application for borrower defense is denied or partially approved, the interest on the non-forgiven loans will be added to your loan balance, and the total amount you owe may be higher.

STEP THREE:

Dos and Don'ts

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DO submit questions on the status of your request @ FSAOperations@ed.gov.

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DO be patient. Processing times vary. Once your review is complete, your loan servicer(s) will contact you to inform you if your claim was denied or not.

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DON'T submit multiple applications. This will just delay your response.

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STEP FOUR:

Stay Informed

Find the examples and extra documentation you need on NextStepsEd.org

Download this checklist to follow your progress.

For additional information about borrower defense to repayment, visit the Office of Federal Student Aid’s Borrower Defense to Repayment webpage

Download PDF Checklist Begin Again

Which of the three options are you
interested in learning more about?

Apply for a Closed School
Loan Discharge
Transfer Earned Credits to Another
Institution in a Comparable Program
Pell Grant Eligibility
Restoration

Did you receive any of the following types of loans?

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You may be eligible for a closed school federal loan discharge if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are a student whose college or career school closed while you were enrolled, while you were on an approved leave of absence, or within 120 days after you withdrew;
    • Unsure on what date your school closed? You may view a current list of closed schools and their closure dates on the U. S. Department of Education’s website.
  • You were a student attending ITT Technical Institute when it announced its closure on Sept. 6, 2016, or you withdrew from an ITT Technical Institute location on or after May 6, 2016; or
  • You were a student attending any Corinthian Colleges school (Everest, WyoTech, or Heald) when it closed on April 27, 2015, or you withdrew from one of these schools after June 20, 2014.

Do Any of the Above Apply To You?

YES

NO

Student with book

Apply for a closed school federal loan discharge by completing and returning the Loan Discharge Application: School Closure to your loan servicer.

If you do not know who your loan servicer is, call 1-800-4-FED-AID.

Current processing times for closed school federal loan discharge varies.

To check your status, please contact your loan servicer or call 1-800-4-FED-AID.

Instead of applying for a closed school federal loan discharge, do you want to keep the credits you have earned, and transfer those credits to another school with a comparable program?

Yes
No
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Some closed schools may facilitate this transfer process via a written agreement called a “teach-out” plan. If your institution has entered into a teach-out agreement with another institution, you will find information on the institution’s fact sheet.

If you transfer the credits you have earned toward a comparable program at another school and complete (or are in the process of completing that program) you will not be eligible to receive a closed school federal loan discharge.

However, if you enroll in a completely different program of study at a new school, you may qualify for a closed school loan discharge.

If your loan discharge is denied, you remain responsible for repaying the loan.

If your school has closed and your closed school federal loan discharge application has been denied, you should research the following options:

  • Contact the state licensing agency (found on the state’s individual fact sheet) and ask if there is a tuition recovery fund or performance bond that will cover your damages on the basis of the school closure.
  • If the school filed for bankruptcy, you should file a claim for your loss in the bankruptcy proceeding. You may also consult an attorney about any options you may have through the court system.

TIP

For more information, submit your question

@ FSAOperations@ed.gov.

Students who received Pell Grants at institutions that closed before they earned their credentials may qualify for restoration of their Pell Grant lifetime eligibility that was used at their closed institution, provided they were enrolled during either the academic year in which the school closed or the academic year immediately prior.

TIP

Unsure on what date your school closed?

You may view a current list of closed schools & closure

dates on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

It Is Important to Note the Following

For more information, submit your question
@ FSAOperations@ed.gov
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