ASA College Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is ASA College closing? 

ASA College has reported that it will close all campuses at the end of the fall semester on February 24, 2023. The Commission has required ASA College to submit a substantive change request for institutional closure by February 8, 2023, which must include information that the institution has failed to provide despite repeated requests by the Commission. The Commission is seeking more information from the College on its teach-out plan and the remaining teach-out agreements not yet approved but under review by the Commission. 

International Students

How does ASA College’s loss of accreditation affect international students?

International students attending ASA College on a student visa have unique considerations. International students may find more information at https://educationusa.state.gov/foreign-institutions-and-governments/understanding-us-higher-education/international-student.

Please note that the institution cannot withhold the transfer of international students’ I-20 to another institution due to unpaid balances. International students should research the SEVP Certification status of the institution they are considering for transfer. SEVP posts SEVP Certified schools on its website: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/school-search.

Who should international students contact for more information?

MSCHE met with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to obtain information that may be helpful to international students at ASA College as the quality and substance of the report were insufficient. SEVP encourages international students to contact the SEVP Response Center for assistance: Phone: 703-603-3400 Email: sevp@ice.dhs.gov.

International students should be receiving a letter from SEVP soon, and the information contained in the letter will also be shared on the SEVP website at https://www.ice.gov/sevis/whats-new.

ASA College has reported that international students should contact ASA College at DSO@asa.edu or Agatha Castelino, Director of International Student Admissions at acastelino@asa.edu.

Student Veterans

Who should student veterans contact for more information?

ASA College has reported New York student veterans can contact the New York State Office of Veterans’ Affairs for more information: Mr. Daniel Giuseffi, Program Representative 3, Phone: (212) 564-8414 Email: daniel.giuseffi@veterans.ny.gov.

Students

What does the loss of accreditation mean for current students at ASA College?
The Commission took action to withdraw accreditation from ASA College on November 11, 2022. Since that action, the institution announced it will close all campuses at the end of fall semester on February 24, 2023.

The following teach-out agreements have been approved by the Commission:

The following teach-out agreements have not been approved and remain under review:

  • Florida Memorial
  • Keiser University
  • Southeastern University
  • United International College

Students who were made aware of a potential teach-out agreement between ASA College and Albizu University should understand that Albizu University withdrew that teach-out agreement. It is not approved or under review by the Commission. Students who wish to transfer to Albizu University should contact them directly.

What are teach-out plans and teach-out agreements?

The Commission required ASA College to complete and submit for approval a comprehensive, implementable teach-out plan with signed teach-out agreements. A teach-out plan is a written plan developed by the institution that provides for the equitable treatment of students to complete their education. The purpose of the teach-out plan is to make reasonable accommodations and assist students with completing educational programs or credentials or transferring to a new institution. The Commission requires a teach-out plan and teach-out agreements when an institution risks the loss of accreditation or intends to close. The Commission has acted to approve some teach-out agreements, and the teach-out plan remains under review by the Commission. Students can still transfer at any time to another institution.

Teach-out agreements are specific agreements made by the institution with appropriate teach-out partner institutions. The purpose of the teach-out agreement is to make accommodations for and assist students as much as possible and provide clear and transparent information regarding those arrangements. They are intended to facilitate students’ transition to another institution so they can graduate in a program of their choosing. These agreements were negotiated between ASA and other institutions with similar programs of study. The purpose and importance of clear and transparent teach-out agreements was reiterated to ASA College by the Commission in written and verbal communications. MSCHE has repeatedly required ASA College to provide information on how students in all ASA College programs of student and locations will be accommodated through teach-out agreements and to act expeditiously to find options to accommodate all students.

ASA College has reported that they have publicly disclosed the teach-out plan and all relevant information on their websites. MSCHE has been unable to locate that information at the websites for either New York or Florida students and has reminded ASA College of their obligations to place the appropriate information on their homepages. The quality and substance of reports from ASA College remain insufficient.

In addition, ASA College was required to provide a train-out plan for the Florida Commission for Independent Education for the institution’s locations in Florida. MSCHE has received a copy of the plan submitted to the Florida Commission for Independent Education, and the quality and substance of that report was insufficient to permit Commission review.

Can students transfer to another institution?

The institution has announced its closure as of February 24, 2023. Current students can transfer at any time and to any institution, including those without a teach-out agreement. Students are entitled to receive clear, accurate, and thorough information from ASA College about their options to pursue other educational opportunities.

Students cannot be charged additional fees for exercising the option to transfer.

Where can students transfer?

Students can apply for transfer to any institution that meets their needs and where they may qualify for admission. Transfer opportunities are not limited to those institutions that have teach-out agreements with ASA College. Students can transfer at any time and to any institution.

What other things should students consider when transferring?

Students should look for an institution that is in good standing with accreditors (not on probation or an equivalent status). Students should always research the accreditation status of the institution they are considering for transfer. MSCHE posts accreditation status for its member institutions in the Institution Directory on our website: https://www.msche.org/institution/.

Individual programs may also be accredited by a programmatic accreditor. Students are encouraged to contact both the institutional and programmatic accreditors of institutions and programs to verify the accreditation status of the institution they are considering.

Visit the resources available at https://www.msche.org/student-resources/.

Can ASA College charge students additional fees if they withdraw or transfer?

No, ASA College cannot charge students additional fees for withdrawing or transferring.

Will all students receive a copy of their transcripts?

ASA College has reported that students can obtain transcripts from the institution or Parchment Exchange. ASA College has provided the following link to Parchment Exchange for students to use to request transcripts: https://www.parchment.com/u/registration/32515115/institution.

MSCHE required ASA College to provide details of the contract with Parchment Exchange and evidence of payment. The quality and substance of that report remain insufficient.

Commission policy and procedure require the institution to provide a copy of transcripts to all current students. ASA College cannot withhold student transcripts. New York law prevents institutions from withholding student transcripts and from charging students higher fees for their transcripts if they have unpaid debts (N.Y. Educ. Law § 640).

Where can students find more information on ASA College’s website?

ASA College has reported that it has provided appropriate disclosures to students, including at its website. MSCHE has been unable to verify what information has been provided to students and has required that ASA College share more information with the Commission and post appropriate public disclosures on the homepage of its websites, including both those for its New York and Florida locations.

After repeated reminders to ASA College, the website continues to reflect insufficient information for students.

Who can students contact at ASA College for more information?

MSCHE reminded ASA College of the need for accurate information and additional support for students during a meeting on December 19, 2022, and has made efforts to contact college officials who were reportedly available for students and held information needed about the status of the institution. MSCHE required that ASA College address the availability of staff that they have reported in the teach-out plan as being resources for students. The quality and substance of that report was insufficient.

MSCHE has also outreached to members of the regulatory triad and other agencies to obtain contact information that may be helpful to students. Resources for students include:

United States Department of Education

https://www.ed.gov/

https://studentaid.gov/feedback-center/

https://fsapartners.ed.gov/help-center/fsa-customer-service-center/service-centers-for-schools/closed-school-contacts

Office of Federal Student Aid

https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/closed-school

The above link can provide assistance if your college or career school closed while you were enrolled, or soon after you withdrew.

https://studentaid.gov/borrower-defense/

If your school misled you or engaged in other misconduct in violation of certain state laws, you may be eligible for “borrower defense to loan repayment,” sometimes shortened to “borrower defense.” This is the discharge of some or all of your federal student loan debt. Visit the link above for more information.

New York State Education Department

http://www.nysed.gov/

http://www.nysed.gov/college-university-evaluation/closures-degree-granting-institutions

http://www.nysed.gov/college-university-evaluation/transcripts

https://www.op.nysed.gov/

http://www.nysed.gov/college-university-evaluation/complaints

Florida Commission for Independent Education

https://www.fldoe.org/policy/cie/

https://web02.fldoe.org/CIE/Transcript/TranscriptRequest.aspx

Student and Exchange Visitor Program

https://www.ice.gov/sevis/students

https://www.ice.gov/sevis/whats-new

https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/school-search

SEVP Response Center: Phone: 703-603-3400 Email: sevp@ice.dhs.gov

New York Legal Assistance Group: Phone: 212-659-6166 Email: ASAHotline@nylag.org

National Junior College Athletic Association: Phone: 719-590-9788 Email: compliance@njcaa.org

What does it mean for students applying for admission now and for future students of ASA College?

ASA College has announced its closure. In addition, MSCHE has not permitted ASA College to market to or enroll new students.

The Commission became aware of marketing materials disseminated by ASA College since the November 11, 2022, adverse action was taken. In a meeting with ASA College on December 19, 2023, Commission staff reminded the College that it could not advertise for any programs, whether credit or continuing education.

What does the closure and withdraw of accreditation mean for students who recently graduated or who expect to graduate by the to-be-determined accreditation cease date from ASA College?

ASA College has announced its closure, and MSCHE continues to attempt to obtain information for students and other constituents.

In terms of the withdrawal of accreditation, student coursework and degrees are considered to have been granted from an accredited institution so long as they are received prior to the date that accreditation will cease. The Commission is reviewing the institution’s closure and will determine an appropriate end date for accreditation.

What are the next steps involving ASA College’s accreditation?

At the time of the action of withdrawal, the Commission requested a supplemental information report, teach-out plan, and teach out agreements. The Commission received the supplemental information report due December 9, 2022, and additional information on December 20, 2022, and has been following the procedures required for review. This process includes evaluating any teach-out agreements to ensure all students will be accommodated. Despite Commission staff’s repeated requests for additional information from ASA College regarding the teach-out plan and teach-out agreements and meeting with potential teach-out partners and ASA College, MSCHE again requested ASA College to provide additional details needed for the teach-out agreements. ASA College provided additional information on February 24, 2023, when it also informed the Commission that it will close all campuses at the end of fall semester on February 24, 2023.

ASA College was advised to continue identifying appropriate teach-out partners for all students for all programs of study. The Commission will continue to consider teach out agreements should any additional agreements be developed.

When will ASA College lose its accreditation?

ASA College has announced its closure, and MSCHE continues to attempt to obtain information for students and other constituents. The Commission is reviewing the institution’s closure and will determine an appropriate date that accreditation will cease.

Student coursework and degrees are considered to have been granted from an accredited institution so long as they are received prior to the date that accreditation will cease. The Commission is reviewing the institution’s closure and will determine an appropriate end date for accreditation. MSCHE’s understanding is that the institution intends to close on February 24, 2023. MSCHE always attempts to continue accreditation so that students who are currently enrolled are not impacted by the withdrawal of accreditation.

How can I contact MSCHE?

MSCHE welcomes inquiries and questions. Please email communications@msche.org.

How can students file a complaint against ASA College or another member institution?

ASA College has announced its closure. MSCHE can continue to accept complaints and wants to be made aware of continuing complaints against the institution. Those can be emailed to complaints@msche.org or submitted using the online complaint submission form, which can be found at https://www.msche.org/complaints/. MSCHE staff reviewed student complaints with ASA College in a meeting on December 19, 2022, and the Commission will continue to address complaints in accordance with a condensed timeline in light of the circumstances.

MSCHE will continue to accept complaints against any of its member institutions, via its Complaints Involving Member and Candidate Institutions policy and procedures. The details of that process can be found at https://www.msche.org/complaints/ at the bottom of the page. This includes complaints involving any teach-out partner accredited by MSCHE.

Some of the teach-out partners are not accredited by MSCHE, and students will need to pursue complaints with that institution’s accreditor.

Student Athletes

How does ASA College’s loss of accreditation affect student athletes and eligibility?
The National Junior College Athletic Association (https://www.njcaa.org/landing/index) has determined that students are free to change institutions without penalties or restrictions.

MSCHE has required ASA College to provide updates to NJCAA and any organization that has oversight of its student population, including NJCAA. MSCHE has not been able to verify that ASA College has provided all information requested by NJCAA.

Faculty and Staff

What is ASA College doing to support faculty and staff?

ASA College has reported that a layoff notice has been provided to employees effective January 24, 2023. ASA College has also reported faculty and staff will be assisted in their re-employment efforts and notified staff of open positions in other institutions. MSCHE has required ASA College to submit additional evidence of their providing for considerations of faculty and staff including communications, required meetings, and/or job fairs. The quality and substance of the report were insufficient to permit Commission review. MSCHE is aware of the payroll issues with ASA College and has continued to remind the institutional representatives of their responsibilities to their faculty and staff.

ASA College has reported that all personnel records are digitized and will be uploaded to the iSolved HCM™, an HR management and payroll processing company. MSCHE has not received any evidence of a contract with iSolved HCM™ and required ASA College to provide details of the contract with iSolved HCM™. The quality and substance of that report was insufficient to permit Commission review.

ASA College has reported that all financial records will be maintained by QuickBooks™. MSCHE has not received any evidence of a contract with QuickBooks™ and is requiring ASA College to provide details of the contract with QuickBooks™. The quality and substance of that report was insufficient to permit Commission review.

Adverse Actions

ASA College has announced its closure. Prior to that, the Commission took an adverse action against ASA College.
Adverse actions, as defined by Accreditation Actions Policy and Procedures, include Deny Candidate Accreditation Status, Withdraw Candidate for Accreditation Status, Deny Accreditation, or Withdraw Accreditation. The Commission will take an adverse action when an institution has not demonstrated compliance, has had the opportunity to show cause, and/or the 36-month allowable time period for non-compliance has expired.

Can the institution appeal this action?
An institution has the right to appeal any adverse action pursuant to the Appeals from Adverse Actions Procedures. ASA College has exercised its right to appeal. The institution, however, has announced its closure as of February 24, 2023. Therefore, this will impact the date accreditation will cease.

Will ASA College maintain its accreditation during the appeal?
Because the institution has announced its closure as of February 24, 2023, accreditation will cease based on that announced closure. The Commission will now consider the announced closure and determine an appropriate end date for accreditation.

Why did MSCHE take an action to withdraw ASA College’s accreditation?
For more information and further details regarding the withdrawal of accreditation, visit ASA College’s Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS) in the institution directory listing at the MSCHE website: https://www.msche.org/institution/0837.

Institutions Interested in Teach-Out Agreements with ASA College

What do other institutions with questions about teach-out agreements need to know?

Teach-Out Plans and Agreement(s) Policy and Procedures Section IV. Procedures for the Submission of Teach-Out Agreements of the Procedures outlines the purpose of teach-out agreements, what the agreements should include, and the conditions that a teach-out partner must meet. The responsibility to develop teach-out agreements rests with ASA College, which is required to submit a teach-out plan and agreement(s), and MSCHE cannot develop the agreements or connect institutions interested entering into such an agreement with ASA College. Teach-out plans and agreements must be approved by MSCHE.

A teach-out agreement should include a comprehensive description of the arrangements being made for students between the two institutions, including at least the following critical information:

  • Information on the number and types of credits that will be accepted by the teach-out institution.
  • Information on the specific locations where instruction will be offered by the teach-out institution.
  • Any additional financial charges or changes in tuition and fees.
  • A description of the relevant educational program to ensure that it is comparable in quality and reasonably similar in content, delivery modality, and scheduling.

MSCHE staff met with potential teach-out partners on December 13, 2022, and explained the expectations for teach-out partners.

Can institutions without an approved teach-out agreement accept students who wish to transfer from ASA College?

Yes, any institution can consider transfer students from ASA College. Institutions without an approved teach-out agreement can accept students who wish to transfer from ASA College. If any exceptions to institutions’ policies or procedures are made to facilitate the award of transfer credit and academic progress for students, including but not limited to admissions, transfer of credit, or residency requirements, the exceptions and conditions under which the exception was applied must be justified and documented and must continue to comply with applicable law.

Can institutions receiving ASA College students make exceptions to transfer policies or required residency policies to assist students?

Some institutions do include exceptions to transfer policies or required residency policies in the teach-out agreements; however, institutions must document under what circumstances an exception was made and the conditions that must be met for the exception to be applied. Without a teach-out agreement, institutions making exceptions to accommodate ASA College students who transfer must also document exceptions.

Transfer Credit, Prior Learning, and Articulation Agreements Policy and Procedures requires institutions to seek to minimize the loss of credit for students wherever possible. Institutions should strive for appropriate balance among consistency, fairness, flexibility, good educational practice, and academic program integrity.

In addition, institutions must always remain mindful of state requirements and regulations and, in matters governed by state regulations, comply with state law or obtain an exception from the appropriate state agency. The institution must also comply with the requirements for programmatic accreditors.

Can institutions enter into a teach-out agreement that includes a program not currently offered?

The partner institution must have the appropriate state authority and the capacity to offer a program. Institutions are responsible for ensuring appropriate program approval and registration. Institutional representatives should outreach to their state licensing agency to ensure any requirements relating to programs delivered in the state are met. Institutions must be mindful of programmatic accreditor requirements and should consult with the programmatic accreditor to ensure that their requirements are met.

Can institutions make exceptions to some degree and/or general education requirements?

Partner institutions should do a program-to-program articulation, which includes an analysis of how student learning outcomes for courses in one institution are equivalent to outcomes for courses in the other institution. Institutions must determine degree requirements and any substitutions based on institutional policies and procedures. If exceptions are made, those should be documented and justified.

Additional Resources

United States Department of Education

https://www.ed.gov/

https://studentaid.gov/feedback-center/

https://fsapartners.ed.gov/help-center/fsa-customer-service-center/service-centers-for-schools/closed-school-contacts

Office of Federal Student Aid

https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/closed-school

The above link can provide assistance if your college or career school closed while you were enrolled, or soon after you withdrew.

https://studentaid.gov/borrower-defense/

If your school misled you or engaged in other misconduct in violation of certain state laws, you may be eligible for “borrower defense to loan repayment,” sometimes shortened to “borrower defense.” This is the discharge of some or all of your federal student loan debt. Visit the link above for more information.

New York State Education Department

http://www.nysed.gov/

http://www.nysed.gov/college-university-evaluation/closures-degree-granting-institutions

http://www.nysed.gov/college-university-evaluation/transcripts

https://www.op.nysed.gov/

http://www.nysed.gov/college-university-evaluation/complaints

Florida Commission for Independent Education

https://www.fldoe.org/policy/cie/

https://web02.fldoe.org/CIE/Transcript/TranscriptRequest.aspx

Student and Exchange Visitor Program

https://www.ice.gov/sevis/students

https://www.ice.gov/sevis/whats-new

https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/school-search

SEVP Response Center: Phone: 703-603-3400 Email: sevp@ice.dhs.gov

New York Legal Assistance Group: Phone: 212-659-6166 Email: ASAHotline@nylag.org

National Junior College Athletic Association: Phone: 719-590-9788 Email: compliance@njcaa.org

MSCHE Policies and Procedures

FAQ Version History:
Version 3.0 – January 31, 2023

Version 2.0 – January 20, 2023
Version 1.0 – December 16, 2022