Vista College student shares concerns about school closure

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KILLEEN, Texas – Many students received an email on Friday saying Vista College is closing their doors for good, leaving many students concerned about what’s going to happen to their credits.

Diamond Villalpando has been a student at Vista College since November of last year. She’s close to finishing her degree – when she got the email on Friday saying Vista College is closing down.

“It’s like a deer in the headlights, you know? So we don’t know what’s going on from this point on,” Diamond says.

Diamond completed her 180 hours of externship the day the email was sent out. Her first thought that came to her head was taking her RDA exam to become a certified dental assistant.

“I reached out straight to my instructors, and they all told me that me taking the test, it could be affected by them shutting down,” says Villalpando.

The email sent to Vista College students says:

Vista College Students,

Vista College has made the difficult decision to cease all operations effective with the close of Business on October 8th, 2021. Although we are in compliance with both accreditation and state/federal regulations, we are unable to continue due to financial circumstances.

We apologize for the sudden notice, but due to unforeseen events we could not continue with the new term on October 11th – nor continue the current nursing term.

We realize the challenges this causes for students, and we have been working to identify potential transfer colleges and schools to complete your degrees. Please monitor the Vista College Website, www.vistacollege.edu, as we will be posting important information to the website.

We also want to provide you loan discharge criteria with respect to school closures:
You may be eligible for a 100 percent discharge of your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, or Federal Perkins Loans if you were unable to complete your program because your school closed, and if
•you were enrolled when your school closed;
•you were on an approved leave of absence when your school closed;
•your school closed within 120 days after you withdrew, if your loans were first disbursed before July 1, 2020; or
•your school closed within 180 days after you withdrew, if your loans were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020.

You are not eligible for discharge of your loans if your school closes and any of the following is true:
•Except in exceptional circumstances, you withdrew more than 120 days before the school closed, if your loans were first disbursed before July 1, 2020; or
•Except in exceptional circumstances, you withdrew more than 180 days before the school closed, if your loans were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020.
•You are completing a comparable educational program:
othrough a teach-out,
oby transferring academic credits or hours earned at the closed school to another school, or
oby any other comparable means.
•You completed all the coursework for the program before the school closed, even if you did not receive a diploma or certificate.

For more information on Federal loan discharge, go to:
https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school
https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/closed-school

On Monday, students were able to go inside the campus to get their transcripts.

“So with the transcripts, and still have my credits, which is great, my concern more is the money, and for me to take the test,” says Villalpando.

Diamond says the cost of taking this certification test was built into the cost of tuition. It’s still up in the air as to whether or not this money will be returned.

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