Markey, Mass. Delegation in Congress Ask for Information, Help for Students Affected by Abrupt ACI Closure

Contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Rep. Ed Markey, 202-225-2836

1,400 Students of Shuttered School Deserve Assistance, Answers, Say Lawmakers

WASHINGTON (January 25, 2013) – The entire Massachusetts congressional delegation, led by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Malden), today asked the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs to help the 1,400 students abandoned as a result of the closure of the for-profit school, American Career Institute (ACI). Rep. Markey and the rest of the delegation also asked the institution that accredited the school for information on how the school was accredited, and whether there were any indications of financial hardship before the closure of the school.

ACI closed on January 9, 2013, sending a letter to all of its students at their five campuses in Framingham, Cambridge, Woburn, Springfield, and Braintree that noted the school had a “recent and unanticipated inability to access additional credit from the school's lenders.” The Massachusetts students who had been taking classes at ACI in health, media, information technology, and other fields now face an uncertain future about how to continue their education. ACI also has three campuses in Maryland that closed.

The letters today were sent to the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan. All three letters can be found HERE.

“The sudden closure of ACI raises a number of questions about how students will be able to continue their studies and whether they will continue to have access to financial assistance to pursue their education,” write the Massachusetts lawmakers to Secretary Duncan and Secretary Shinseki. “We must work to help these students continue their certificate programs at other institutions and maintain their ability to access Pell Grant funding as well as other federal grants and loans. We ask that you provide whatever assistance is available to ensure that these students find placements in new academic institutions, and that we avoid any delay in federal funds that would prevent them from moving forward to pursue their dreams through educational advancement.”

In the letter to ACCET, Rep. Markey and the other Massachusetts Democrats ask what standards the organization used to accredit ACI, what financial considerations or concerns existed before the closure of the school, and whether ACCET was given any advance warning that ACI would close its doors.

# # #