Closed School Discharge Extended for Some Students; Including Art Institute of Portland

November 12, 2019
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At the urging of Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and a bipartisan group of 29 state Attorneys General, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced today that she will extend closed school discharge to a small number of former Dream Center students who were not previously eligible. This extension will mean some additional students who attended The Art Institute of Portland will be eligible for closed loan discharge of their federal student debt.

The coalition of Attorneys General wrote Secretary DeVos on October 17th, 2019, and asked her to use her authority to extend the closed school discharge timeframe for students who were enrolled in schools operated by the Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC (DCEH). The letter the Attorneys General sent outlined extraordinary misconduct and mismanagement by DCEH, which prevented many students from obtaining degrees, and unfairly left them to repay federal student loan debt from their time attending the failed schools. The letter also outlined misrepresentations DCEH made to students, noncompliance with accreditors, regulatory failures, and state and federal law violations.

“While this short extension of closed school discharge is a step in the right direction, there are still too many students who are left with substantial student debt from a school that closed,” said Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum. “We continue to request that all former students of these schools receive closed school discharge, based on the extraordinary mismanagement by Dream Center.” Oregon State Attorney General Rosenblum will continue to fight for all students affected by the schools’ abrupt closure.

In Oregon, DCEH operated The Art Institute of Portland, which closed in December 2018. For several years, Argosy online and Ai online also enrolled Oregon students, even though they did not have state authorization, in violation of Oregon law.

The full copy of the October 2019 letter to Secretary DeVos requesting an extension of closed school discharge for former Dream Center students is available here.

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) is led by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, and serves as the state’s law firm. The Oregon DOJ advocates for and protects all Oregonians, especially the most vulnerable, such as children and seniors.