What Happens If Your College Closes?

Your college is scheduled for closure. What should you do next? Explore your alternatives and determine the most favorable course of action for your future.

Embarking on your college path doesn’t typically involve anticipating a school closure. Yet, facing a college shutdown is a possible challenge for students.

In the event of your college shutting down, understand the available options and consider your potential next moves.

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What Happens If Your College Closes?

If your college closes, it can be a stressful and uncertain time, but there are steps you can take to mitigate the situation. Let’s understand these steps, which we can explain as follows:

Get Your Records As Soon As Possible

To begin, promptly gather your academic records when a school closure is imminent. Access to enrollment status and academic progress information is crucial during such transitions. Obtain copies of the following documents without delay:

  • Transcript
  • Financial aid details
  • School-related correspondences
  • Degree progress report

Having this information readily available is vital if you plan to transfer to another educational institution. Keep your records well-organized and be prepared to share them with your new school or utilize them to explore your options.

While some college closures occur gradually over months, others may cease operations abruptly. In the latter case, retrieving your records can pose challenges. It is advisable to proactively maintain updated records. Regularly obtain a copy of your transcript and store financial aid information securely. This proactive approach ensures that you will have the necessary information and documentation in the event of a sudden school closure.

Allow yourself ample time to weigh your alternatives as you have a six-month window before federal student loan payments commence. This grace period offers a valuable opportunity to carefully consider your next steps.

Explore Teach-Out Solutions

Certain institutions offer teach-out programs in collaboration with other schools. These programs facilitate a seamless transfer to continue your educational pursuits from where you left off.

Exercise caution when considering teach-out programs. The partner school might have high costs or lack proper accreditation. If your current school faces closure due to accreditation issues or operates as a for-profit entity, accepting an offer from a teach-out school could potentially worsen your situation. Prior to accepting any offers, verify the credentials of the teach-out school diligently.

Federal Loan Discharge

Depending on the circumstances, you may qualify for a closed school discharge from the U.S. Department of Education. In such instances, your federal student loans could potentially be discharged in the event of your school’s closure. Under specific conditions, you may also be eligible for a reimbursement of your payments made to the school.

Obtaining a discharge for federal loans necessitates completing an application, followed by awaiting a response. It is advisable to submit the application early, particularly during your grace period for federal student loan payments, to increase the likelihood of receiving a response before the grace period ends.

Should you not receive a response or your application is denied by the end of the grace period, it is crucial to continue making payments to avoid default and potential negative consequences. In cases of financial hardship, exploring income-driven repayment plans, deferment, and forbearance options is recommended.

For private student loans, eligibility for discharge in the event of school closure may not apply. Refinancing your debt and seeking alternative cost-saving measures may be necessary. Although challenging, collaborating with various loan providers can offer assistance.

Choosing an Alternate Institution

When contemplating a transfer to another college, it is vital to carefully select your next academic destination. While opting for a teach-out program may seem convenient, ensuring it aligns with your goals is essential. Additionally, exploring closed school discharge eligibility as an alternative to a teach-out school may prove beneficial. Once decisions are finalized, transitioning to a new institution can be pursued.

During the decision-making process for a new college, be cautious of warning signs, such as a sudden influx of programs within a short timeframe. Rapid student enrollment growth with new programs could signify inadequate course planning and rushed profit-making intentions.

Another red flag to observe is a significant decline in student numbers. A rapid decrease in enrollment may indicate subpar course quality and potential school issues, including imminent closure.

Instead of relying solely on promotional materials, verify the school’s accreditation status. Additionally, researching post-graduation job placement rates offered by the U.S. Department of Education can aid in identifying institutions with successful outcomes.

Thoroughly assess your financial strategy for the new academic endeavor. Seek federal and private student loan options and, if facing challenges with federal loans, explore the possibility of securing a low-cost private student loan through Juno to bridge any financial gaps.


Navigating the unexpected twists and turns that accompany college attendance, especially in the event of a school closure, requires careful consideration of available choices. Depending on your circumstances, promptly transitioning to a teach-out school to complete your degree or pursuing closed school discharge and restarting at a different institution may be suitable options. Evaluate your individual situation to weigh the alternatives and select the path likely to yield the most favorable outcome for you.

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