1. Why did ECA make the decision to discontinue operations at its schools?
Recently, the Department of Education added requirements that made operating ECA schools more challenging. In addition, ACICS suspended the schools’ accreditation with intent to withdraw. The uncertainty of these circumstances resulted in an inability to acquire additional capital to operate the schools.
It is with extreme regret that this series of recent circumstances has forced ECA to discontinue the operations of its schools effective with the completion of the December module or term for most students. This is not the outcome that the organization envisioned and is one that ECA recognizes will have a dramatic effect on both the students that they have served and their employees.
2. Was this decision impacted by the accreditation situation?
Accreditation did not impact this until very recently. During the final week, ECA learned that ACICS suspended the schools’ accreditation with intent to withdraw. ACICS accreditation extends to all schools through December 21st. All credits earned on or before December 21st will be from an accredited school.
3. Can the U.S. Department of Education provide assistance and guidance to students who were enrolled at ECA’s closed schools?
The U.S. Department of Education has a website dedicated to providing information to students from closed schools. It can be found HERE.
4. Are students eligible to transfer to another school?
ECA encourages students to complete their training by requesting their transcripts and contacting other institutions to assess transferability. Please remember that transfer credits are accepted solely at the discretion of the receiving institution and that there is no guarantee that all credits earned at ECA institutions are eligible for transfer. CLICK HERE for a list of transfer options including schools offering fee waivers and tuition discounts.
5. How can a student request their transcripts?
Transcripts can be requested online. CLICK HERE for detailed information on transcript requests.
6. If a student is no longer able to graduate, will they receive a refund on tuition payments?
Unfortunately, ECA will not be able to process refunds for any completed course(s) in which a student made a payment. Students will get credit for those courses on their transcript if they passed. For more information about discharge of these loans, ECA encourages students to visit https://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/121318ClosedSchoolDischargeChanges.html. The closed school discharge form that must be completed can be found at: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/downloadForm.action?searchType=library&shortName=schlcls&localeCode=en-us.
7. Will students be responsible for paying back stipends they received while in school?
Any loan amounts borrowed that exceeded the direct cost of the courses taken and paid to students in the form of a stipend will be included in the students’ total loan obligation. For more information about discharge of these loans, ECA encourages students to visit https://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/121318ClosedSchoolDischargeChanges.html. The closed school discharge form that must be completed can be found at: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/downloadForm.action?searchType=library&shortName=schlcls&localeCode=en-us.
8. What is closed school discharge?
Students who attended a school that closed may be entitled to discharge of their loan obligations owed to the U.S. Department of Education. For more information about discharge of these loans, ECA encourages students to visit https://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/121318ClosedSchoolDischargeChanges.html. The closed school discharge form that must be completed can be found at: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/downloadForm.action?searchType=library&shortName=schlcls&localeCode=en-us.
9. Should students continue making TFC payments?
All students who have graduated from their program should continue to make payments to TFC. All students who were unable to graduate from their program due to the closure of ECA’s campuses should stop making payments and will receive further instruction at a later date via their personal email account.
10. How do graduates make payments to complete their past due balances?
Graduates can make payments through the student portal. CLICK HERE for instructions. Alternatively, graduates can pay via check sent to:
Education Corporation of America
Attn: Student Accounts
400 Chase Park S, Suite 300
Birmingham, AL 35244
11. If a student is applying to another school and needs his/her financial aid account updated by ECA, how can that happen?
ECA students are encouraged to complete their career training at another institution. ECA is currently updating all student financial aid records as quickly as possible. Students should email the Student Finance team at firstname.lastname@example.org to request their financial aid record updates be prioritized. Students should provide the following information in the email:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Student ID or last four of SSN
- School Attended (including specific location)
12. Does ECA have information regarding opportunities to transfer to other institutions?
Yes. ECA has assembled a list of institutions that have expressed interest in receiving students transferring from ECA campuses. Students are encouraged to contact these institutions to discuss transfer options, including any transfer of credit options and reduced tuition or fee offers.
13. Has ECA notified the VA about their schools closing, and how will VA students be refunded?
ECA has notified the VA about the schools closing, and the VA will determine whether they will restore the student’s eligibility. ECA recommends that impacted students contact the State Approving Agency of their branch.
14. For graduates from ECA schools, are diplomas still valid?
All existing graduates still have a valid credential because they graduated from an accredited institution.
15. If a student needs to get his/her enrollment agreement for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund, what is the process?
The student must go to the appropriate enrollment portal for his/her school and can then access his/her enrollment agreement. There is a password reset option if needed. The enrollment portals will be available until 2/1/2019.
The portals are:
16. Is ECA going to pay for licensure or certification exams?
ECA has gone out of business and therefore has no funds with which to pay for certification or licensure exams.
17. Can students get a diploma?
Yes, the same vendor used for transcript requests will also be able to produce and send diplomas. For more information, please click HERE.
18. When will students receive their 1098-T?
ECA students who opted to receive 1098-Ts electronically will be notified via email no later than January 30, 2019 that they are available. 1098-Ts will be mailed by January 31, 2019 for students that did not opt to receive it electronically.
ECA students may refer to the following website (https://heartland.ecsi.net/) for any questions related to their 1098-T statement and to access an electronic copy of their 1098-T statement. To access their 1098-T statement online, students will need their:
- First and Last Name
- Social Security Number
- Zip Code that appears on their 1098-T form
The student zip code will typically match the home address or shipping address on file with the school.