About 100 students left in a financial bind from an abrupt shutdown of Argosy University should receive state assistance within a couple of weeks, the leader of a higher education agency said Tuesday.
A bill passed by the Minnesota Legislature gives a state office power to rework grants or reverse loan charges for students unable to finish classes. Argosy shut its doors at an Eagan campus in March with little notice to students.
Dennis Olson, commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, said the agency is moving quickly to get the aid out.
"As little as a hundred dollars or a couple hundreds of dollars up to many thousands of dollars, up to a full state grant award $5,000, $6,000," Olson said Tuesday after Gov. Tim Walz held a ceremonial bill signing event for legislation that became law in May. "Some are having their SELF loans reversed."
State Rep. Connie Bernardy, DFL-New Brighton, said releasing the former Argosy students from liability and giving them direct access to financial aid was important.
"Argosy students were working hard to earn a degree, and this financial relief will help make them whole again as they continue their career path into the future," she said.
Most, but not all, of the Argosy students were able to find other options to complete coursework.
Over the next few months, Olson's office will study potential law changes to prevent other sudden for-profit institutions closing and the problems that come with it.
The Minnesota Office of Higher Education intends to examine ways to monitor schools in distress and other regulatory mechanisms to protect students financially.
Senate higher education committee Chairman Paul Anderson, R-Plymouth, said he looks forward to receiving the recommendations in November. Anderson said it will set the stage for debate next session, which begins in February.
"In the end we need to make sure those bad actors aren't taking advantage of students," Anderson said of the schools that have closed abruptly. "But we also need to make sure those students have those opportunities to attend the school that best fit their needs and the needs of the workforce of Minnesota."