NASFAA Awarded Grant to Help Support Students Displaced by Sudden Institutional Closure

Lumina Foundation Grant Will Provide Funding for Online Assistance Portal and Research on How to Best Help Displaced Students

Earlier this month, Globe University and Minnesota School of Business (MSB) joined the growing list of for-profit institutions that have lost eligibility to offer federal student aid to students. While neither Globe nor MSB has announced whether it will shut down operations, other for-profit institutions that have been similarly sanctioned by the Department of Education (ED)—such as Corinthian Colleges, Marinello Schools of Beauty, and ITT Technical Institutesclosed their doors shortly after the federal action was taken.

The closing of these schools have left many students unsure of their next steps, but thanks to a generous grant, awarded this week by Lumina Foundation, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) will be able to continue its efforts to assist students whose college or career school closed while they were enrolled or shortly after they withdrew.

ED has provided some guidance for displaced students, many of whom may qualify for federal loan discharge based on borrower defense to repayment, but a large gap in financial aid knowledge remains for this population. Just as it did in previous collaborations with Beyond 12, under this Lumina Foundation grant, NASFAA will recruit volunteers who are knowledgeable about financial aid and higher education to assist these students using an online ticketing system. However, unlike in past collaborations, NASFAA will also hire a full-time employee to oversee this initiative.

Per the grant agreement, NASFAA will create a website where students can access consumer-tested, easy-to-understand information about closed-school discharge. NASFAA will also produce a “lessons learned” paper to be shared with the Department of Education and Congress on how policymakers can change the current eligibility requirements and/or filing processes to better serve students whose schools have closed and to best help students currently enrolled.

“Sudden campus closures can leave students unsure of their next move, and that’s made all the more complex when students have taken out loans to help pay their tuition and fees,” said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. “This funding from the Lumina Foundation will help us assist these students, using our grassroots experts from around the country, in their time of need and to examine how best to improve processes going forward.”

NASFAA will continue to share updates on this effort as they become available. For more information, or to request an interview with a NASFAA spokesperson about the collaboration, email news@nasfaa.org.

About NASFAA

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 20,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit www.nasfaa.org.

Publication Date: 12/19/2016

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