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FSCJ Extends Helping Hand To Students Affected By Sudden Virginia College Closure

Exterior of FSCJ.
Jessica Palombo
Exterior of FSCJ.

Florida State College at Jacksonville will be hosting an open information session and waiving application fees for students affected by the sudden closing of Virginia College.

Virginia College is one of many campuses affected by this month’s announcement that the Education Corporation of America would be shutting down dozens of campuses across the country by the end of the month. The ECA is a for-profit college chain that has been plagued by financial troubles. The closures were announced on December 6, a day after the company lost its accreditation and funding.

In response, FSCJ will be making advisors, admissions representatives, academic program staff and faculty from financial aid available to answer questions as current and former Virginia College students try to figure out what they need to do to keep their education on track. FSCJ will also be waiving the $25 application fee through January 15, 2019, for current Virginia College students and those who withdrew from the school on or after December 1, 2018.

“Whether they enroll with us or not, we’re willing to help them, really just in our role as the community’s state college,” said Erin Richman, Associate Vice President for the Division of Student Services at FSCJ.

According to Richman, it’s hard to say whether credits will transfer for the 700 or so students affected by the school’s closure.

“It’s really going to depend on the student’s situation and what they have and what program they’re in,” she said. “We will have staff on hand on Monday to be able to help them with those first steps and figuring out what they can do to maximize any transfer that they can make.”

The event will run from 3 to 6 p.m. on Monday, December 17, and will be held at the FSCJ Deerwood Center at 9911 Old Baymeadows Rd. in Jacksonville.

Edward Waters College is also offering to help the displaced students. It held informational sessions Tuesday night at the Milne Auditorium on the college’s Kings Road campus.

"We are having this information session because we want to recruit these students," Dr. Thomas Calhoun, EWC vice president of enrollment management told our News4Jax partner.

Those impacted by Virginia College’s closure and who took out federal student loans could also be eligible for a closed school loan discharge from the Department of Education.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.

Special Projects Producer Brendan Rivers joined WJCT News in August of 2018 after several years as a reporter and then News Director at Southern Stone Communications, which owns and operates several radio stations in the Daytona Beach area.