Former Virginia College students may be eligible for federal loan forgiveness

Former Virginia College students may be eligible for federal loan forgiveness

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Christmas may have come early for Virginia College students with federal student loans.

Thursday, the Department of Education announced it would be wiping $150 million in student loans for 15,000 borrowers whose schools closed on or after Nov. 1, 2013.

The announcement stated the department would be contacting eligible borrowers beginning Friday by email, and is accepting loan forgiveness applications.

All of Virginia College’s campuses suddenly closed in December after the school lost its accreditation. This includes Huntsville’s campus, which was originally scheduled to close in June.

Students eligible for the federal loan forgiveness includes those who:

  • were enrolled when the school closed
  • withdrew not more than 120 days before the school closed
  • are approved by the U.S. Department of Education, and withdrew more than 120 days before the school closed
  • did not enroll at another Title IV-eligible school within three years of the date the borrower’s prior school closed.

More information on federal student loan forgiveness can be found here.

WAFF 48 News spoke to Donna Summers and her daughter Tyeasha Summers in December the day news broke of the college’s sudden closing. Tyesha was studying to be a medical assistant.

A visibly upset Donna said, “they either need to give these kids help finding another placement or give them their money back or something. Because we had to sign them loans, I’m on disability, I had to take four loans out for here, I don’t feel it’s fair.”

The Summers said Monday Tyeasha had since applied Drake State Community College and talked financials with a representative.

If Tyeasha is accepted, Drake State would accept her Federal Pell Grants but Donna’s Stafford Loans and Parent PLUS loan would not be transferable.

If the Department of Education finds Donna Summers eligible for loan forgiveness, she would no longer be responsible for the roughly $16,500 in loans she took out to pay for Tyesha’s education.

The announcement states Parent PLUS loans are included, the status of the Stafford loans is unclear.

Donna said she won’t know what to do if her loans aren’t forgiven.

“I don’t know. I don’t file taxes so they can’t get it from me, cause I’m disabled. The only thing they do is put me in jail,” she said.

If Drake State accepts Tyeasha, she could be back in the classroom in January.

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