I WAS WORKING TOWARD A DIPLOMA OR CERTIFICATE FROM VIRGINIA COLLEGE WHEN IT CLOSED.
I WAS AN EMPLOYEE OF VIRGINA COLLEGE WHEN IT CLOSED.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Virginia College was a private for-profit college (owned by Education Corporation of America “ECA”) that offered classes, certificates, diplomas, and degrees related to specific trades and professions (including medical assistant, medical coding and billing, cosmetology, culinary arts, business administration, pharmacy technician, HVAC technician, etc.). Virginia College also offered online degree programs in addition to its diploma and associate degree programs.
On December 5, 2018, ECA closed all of its Virginia College campuses across the country, including those in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery, leaving a combined total of more than 3,800 students just in Alabama (including 670 student veterans who were using the G.I. Bill benefits they had earned) scrambling to figure out their educational future.
In March 2015, the Department of Education placed Virginia College campuses on a Heightened Cash Monitoring (HCM) financial restriction list because of company financial and management issues. The monitoring resulted in additional federal oversight of federal student aid funds. Virginia College remained on the HCM list for approximately 45 straight months until its closure for financial responsibility, administrative capability or cash monitoring.
Despite the conspicuous (and numerous) signals that Virginia College’s demise was near, ECA continued to (1) mismanage Virginia College; (2) receive federal student loan money, Pell Grant benefits, and GI Bill benefits; and (3) failed to warn its students. Instead, ECA attempted to downplay the situation by stating that, “The vast majority of currently enrolled students will have the opportunity to complete their course work and earn their certificates/diplomas or degrees as planned.”
Students, many of whom incurred substantial debt, were stripped of their opportunity to complete their programs. In fact, many of these students still owe money to the federal government despite losing the opportunity to obtain their degree, certificate, and/or diploma. Most students were not able to transfer their credits (in full) to other institutions and/or teach-out programs.
It was common for many students to take time off from Virginia College to work, so you may have a claim even if you or a loved one were not currently enrolled at Virginia College but had attended Virginia College and had the intent to return and seek a diploma or certificate.
Campuses in proximity to this area include:
- Alabama – Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, and Mobile
- Florida – Pensacola, Jacksonville, and Orlando (Golf Academy)
- Georgia – Augusta, Macon, Savannah, and Columbus
- Louisiana – Shreveport and Baton Rouge
- Mississippi – Jackson and Biloxi
- South Carolina – Columbia, Charleston and Florence
- Tennessee – Chattanooga, Nashville (Brightwood College), and Knoxville
If you or someone you know was working toward a diploma or certificate from Virginia College when it closed or was an employee of Virginia College when it closed, contact us at 205-631-4019. We can provide you with a free initial consultation and see if you qualify for financial compensation.