Potential For Loan Forgiveness Due to Recent News
Westwood College Freezes Enrollment
Options now available for private and federal loan forgiveness
The for-profit college has 4,000 students at 14 locations across the United States
Colorado-based Westwood College is no longer accepting new students, leaving current ones at its Anaheim campus concerned about their academic futures.
The for-profit college has 4,000 students at 14 locations across the United States, including four campuses in California and one in Orange County.
“Westwood College has been through an extended period of declining enrollments due to market shifts and changes in the regulatory environment,” the school said in a statement. “Now Westwood College has made the difficult decision to discontinue all new student enrollments as of (Wednesday).”
The Anaheim campus will continue to offer classes to its 380 students, but for how long is unclear. Officials said students’ coursework probably wouldn’t be transferable.
Thursday morning, current students at the two-story school in Anaheim near the Honda Center were unclear about their futures. A handful of criminal justice students huddled on a curb to the rear of the college, buying snacks from a food truck.
Just 30 minutes earlier, their class was told the news.
“No one had anything to say,” said one of the students, Angie Rojas. “They were shocked.”
Westwood College will permanently close March 2016.
Students not on scholarship pay about $40,000 to get an associate’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice could cost nearly $80,000.
“They said we were pretty much OK throughout the year, this year, but I don’t know after that,” said Rojas, 18.
Many local colleges, such as Fullerton College, don’t accept Westwood credits.
“Westwood students are informed when they enroll that it is unlikely their credits will transfer to traditional universities,” Westwood College spokesman Gil Rudawsky said.
In its home state of Colorado, the school settled with the state attorney general in 2012 for $4.5 million, with half of the funds going to students loans, the Denver Post reported. Westwood was barred there from paying admissions representatives based on enrollment numbers, the paper said.
Westwood also settled a lawsuit this month with the Illinois attorney general, agreeing to cover $15 million in student-loan debt, according to news reports.
Several of the gathered Anaheim students, all paying their way except one on a scholarship, said they were attracted to Westwood College because it said it offered a quick degree without the hassle of taking non-major classes.
“They said it was really hands-on and you could graduate faster,” said Judith Enciso, 18. “And now they’re letting us down.”
The college’s officials are looking to partner with another school so it can continue to offer courses and students can finish their degrees, Rudawsky said.
“No decision has been made on a closing date,” he said.
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