Mt. Sierra College in Monrovia shut down suddenly this week, days before its scheduled graduation ceremony.
The for-profit technical college closed Monday, according to the Office of Student Assistance and Relief, a state agency that offers assistance to students who have been affected by the closure of private colleges.
A message left with the college was not immediately returned.
According to media reports, the school's president, Brian Chilstrom, wrote in a letter, distributed schoolwide Monday, that the college, "due to severe financial problems, cannot continue to hold classes and will be closing."
Mt. Sierra College's accreditation has reportedly been in jeopardy since November 2012. Last month, in a letter placing the college on probation, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges noted that Mt. Sierra had changed ownership twice, had multiple directors and was reporting below-benchmark student achievement rates.
According to the Office of Student Assistance and Relief, a student whose school closes has the right:
- to request a refund from the school;
- to request to have his/her student loan(s) discharged by contacting the loan servicer. If you aren't sure who your loan servicer is, contact the National Student Loan Data Systems.
- to request reimbursement of tuition from the Student Tuition Recovery Fund. An application can be accessed via OSAR's website; and
- to transfer to another school, though transferring any credits/units to another school may affect eligibility for a loan discharge or tuition reimbursements.
Veteran students can visit the GI Bill website at www.gibill.va.gov to access the GI Bill Comparison Tool, an online tool that provides information to calculate benefits and research approved programs, tuition/fees, housing allowance, graduation and loan default rates.
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For additional information on resources available to students, go to the OSAR website, call the OSAR at 888-370-7589, Option #5, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.