The future for students at a for-profit college in downtown Chicago is uncertain.
The Department of Education has pulled Argosy University from the student financial assistance program.
Classes continued at the university Monday, despite the fact the school recently lost its title four eligibility--meaning no federal financial aid to students, like Zayna Achmar.
"I know for other students that I’ve spoken to, they’re not able to pay their rent, they’re not able to eat all the meals, that’s really heartbreaking to me," she said.
Achmar is studying to become a psychologist and says if the school closes, it will not only be a stress on finances but could be detrimental to her career.
And because she’s a third year student, transferring to another school isn’t really an option.
"It would put me bask as a first year," Achmar said. "Not only that, my professional association doesn’t allow transferring of training hours, so the two years that I’ve trained I would lose out on."
The Department of Education denied Argosy’s application to become a nonprofit institution on Feb. 27, citing its failure to pay credit balance refunds owed to students and parents.
As a result, the university was pulled from the financial aid program.
Sen. Dick Durbin, who has been vocal about for-profit colleges, released a statement.
"The downfall of Argosy University has been a long time coming—from its days as part of the predatory for-profit Education Management Corporation, to its mismanagement under Dream Center and the federal receivership, and the Department’s complicity at every step," he said. "About 800 students in Illinois are affected. The Department of Education must immediately step up to work with accreditors and states to establish options for students to continue their studies at high-quality institutions. I’m also calling on the Department to immediately notify Argosy students of their option for federal closed school discharge should Argosy close—which is likely—and to extend the window for students to be eligible."
Argosy says in part, they are "disappointed in the decision and are working to determine the best path forward for students at this time."
Achmar said she isn’t satisfied.
She and her classmates are staging a protest Tuesday to demand answers from school officials.
"We want change, and we want it now. We want to be able to move forth in our careers," she said.
Until then, she’ll attend class as scheduled, she says, and hope for a clear path forward.
"We want answers in a timely manner, so we know what we’re working with here and that way we can make the best decision for ourselves," Achmar said.
Argosy has until March 11 to file an appeal.
Students can find more information on Argosy's website.