Argosy University Student Loan Forgiveness: How it Works

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Updated on November 22, 2023

Former Argosy University students qualify for many student loan forgiveness programs. But you need to apply for these programs yourself—they won’t happen automatically. This is the case even though the school had to close all its campuses because it lost its accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education pulled it’s access to federal financial aid.

Here are the four main forgiveness programs you can apply for if you have federal student loans:

  • Closed School Discharge: This helps if your school closes while you’re still studying.

  • Borrower Defense to Repayment: You can use this if your school did something wrong or misled you.

  • Income-Driven Repayment Forgiveness: This one helps if you’re paying back your loan based on your income.

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: This is for students who plan to work in public service jobs.

Also, there’s some good news for students who had private loans directly with Argosy University.

Last year, several attorney generals led by Minnesota’s AG settled a lawsuit they filed against the school and its new owner, Dream Center Education Holdings. They said the school made several misrepresentations, like whether it was a nonprofit and how many of its students got jobs after graduating. Because of this, students with ‘institutional’ loans owed to Argosy qualify for over $2 million in debt relief cancellation.

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1. Closed School Loan Discharge

You can get rid of the federal student loans you borrowed to attend Argosy through something called a ‘closed school discharge.’ This means you won’t have to pay back the loans you took out to go to Argosy University, except for PLUS loans. The best part? The money that gets erased won’t count as income you have to pay taxes on.

Here’s how you can qualify for this:

  • You were still a student at Argosy University when it closed on March 8, 2019.

  • Or, you were on a break approved by Argosy University when it closed.

  • Or, you left Argosy University, but no more than 120 days before it closed.

But, there are a few reasons you might not qualify:

  • You left Argosy University more than 120 days before it closed.

  • You decided to finish your studies at another university by transferring your credits or joining a ‘teach-out’ program.

  • You finished all your classes at Argosy University, even if you didn’t get your diploma or certificate.

Basically, if you use the credits you earned at Argosy for another school, you can’t get this loan discharge.

You can apply for a closed school discharge on StudentAid.gov.

2. Borrower Defense to Repayment

You can explore options to get your Argosy University loans forgiven through the Borrower Defense to Repayment Program or as a part of the Sweet v Cardona lawsuit, based on your specific circumstances.

Borrower Defense to Repayment Program

This program, managed by the U.S. Department of Education, assists students misled by their college. If Argosy University gave you false information, like unrealistic job prospects or misrepresented the quality of education, you have the opportunity to apply for loan forgiveness.

To qualify, the misleading actions of the school must have played a role in your decision to enroll and take out loans. When applying, you need to submit a detailed account of your experience on the Federal Student Aid website.

If your claim is successful, you could receive a full discharge of your federal loans, reimbursement for any payments made, correction of negative credit reporting, and reinstatement of eligibility for federal student aid. This applies specifically to federal direct loans obtained for studying at Argosy University.

If you’re concerned about gathering evidence to support your claim, consider exploring online communities where former students share information and experiences. For instance, this Reddit group can be a valuable resource for crowdsourcing insights and documentation related to Argosy University.

You can completed the Borrower Defense to Repayment application on StudentAid.gov.

Sweet v Cardona Lawsuit

This lawsuit was for borrowers who had been waiting a long time for the Education Department to process their Borrower Defense applications. If you had a pending application by June 22, 2022, and attended a school like Argosy University listed in the settlement, you’re part of nearly 300,000 affected students. You’re eligible for full and automatic loan discharge, which includes refunds for any payments you’ve already made.

To qualify for this settlement:

  • You must have submitted your Borrower Defense application by June 22, 2022.

  • Your school must be on the approved list in the settlement agreement.

  • If you submitted your application after June 22, 2022, but before November 16, 2022 (when the court approved the settlement), you’re a “post-class applicant.” You won’t get automatic relief, but if the Department of Education doesn’t decide on your application within 36 months from the settlement’s effective date, you could still benefit.

You can learn more about the Sweet v Cardona lawsuit at the Project on Predatory Student Lending.

Other Programs

3. PSLF and IDR Forgiveness

Along with specific forgiveness programs due to Argosy University’s closure, you also have other options like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, PSLF Waiver, Income-Based Repayment Plan Forgiveness, and the IDR Waiver.

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: This program offers complete loan forgiveness after 10 years of full-time work in government or non-profit sectors, combined with making payments through an income-driven repayment plan. The great news is that the forgiven amount under PSLF isn’t considered taxable income. Although the PSLF Waiver ended on October 31, 2022, you can still benefit from the IDR Waiver, which helps you gain credit towards the 10-year requirement for loan forgiveness.

  • IDR Waiver (IDR Account Adjustment): This is a special adjustment by the Department of Education. It’s designed to give credit toward forgiveness for all federal student loan borrowers, including those with Direct, graduate, and Parent PLUS Loans. With the IDR Waiver, you’ll receive at least three years of credit toward forgiveness. This opportunity is available to borrowers in both public and private sectors.

These options are worth considering if you’re looking for ways to manage or forgive your student loans, especially if you feel let down by your experience with Argosy University. While they offer paths to forgiveness, they’re based on employment and repayment plans, rather than issues specifically related to Argosy University’s closure.

Curious about how much credit you’ll get under these waivers? Use our free tool to check your status.

4. Private Student Loan Cancellation

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison led a multi-state agreement securing significant debt relief for former Argosy University students. This action focuses on private “institutional” loan debt from Argosy’s abrupt closure in 2019.

The key details of this relief include:

  • Total Debt Relief: $2.1 million across 12 Argosy campuses nationwide.

  • Specific Relief for Minnesota: $135,000 for students of the Eagan campus, plus those who attended Argosy’s online programs.

  • Cancellation Details: Cancels outstanding principal and interest, barring further collection and negative credit reporting.

  • Background: Argosy, a for-profit institution, was mismanaged under Dream Center Education Holdings, leading to misrepresentations about its nonprofit status and educational offerings.

States participating in this settlement, alongside Minnesota, include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Hawaii (Office of Consumer Protection), and others. This concerted effort reflects a commitment to consumer protection and holding higher education institutions accountable in the American student loan landscape.

Bottom Line

You don’t have to navigate the complexities of student loan forgiveness alone, especially with the challenges posed by Argosy University’s situation. If you’re feeling unsure about the best course of action for your loans, our team is ready to assist you.

By booking a call with us, you take a crucial step toward understanding and managing your student loan debt. Let’s work together to explore your options and find a path to financial relief.

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FAQs

How Did Argosy Mislead Students?

Argosy University deceived students by falsely claiming to be a nonprofit institution, giving misleading information about degree completion, and misrepresenting the accreditation of programs. This, coupled with financial mismanagement by its owners, led to the school’s closure and left students with burdensome debt based on false promises.

Why is Argosy University Closing?

Argosy University closed due to financial mismanagement and mishandling of federal student aid funds. The Department of Education stopped its financial aid for failing to distribute refunds properly, using the money for other expenses. This mismanagement led to the university's inability to continue operating, leaving many students without degrees and in financial difficulties.

Do Argosy University Credits Transfer?

Argosy University credits may transfer to other institutions, but it depends on the school and program. Transferring graduate credits can be particularly challenging. Students should contact the admissions office of the prospective institution for a transfer credit evaluation, as each university has its own policies and requirements for credit transfer.

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