Division of Professional Licensure Announces Claims Process for Former Students of the American Career Institute
Eligible students can file claims for refund of tuition and related expenses
BOSTON -The Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) today announced a new claims process to assist students affected by the January 2013 shut down of American Career Institute (ACI) with reimbursements from the school.
"The Division has been working expeditiously to help these students get back on their feet," said Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. "The hard working students who attended ACI should not be penalized for the school's financial insolvency, and this claims process will help them complete their education and embark on a successful career."
ACI, a for-profit occupational school that provided training in various fields, abruptly closed down its five Massachusetts campuses on January 9, 2013, citing financial difficulties. Approximately 1,400 students attending the school's five Massachusetts locations – in Braintree, Cambridge, Framingham, Springfield and Woburn – were affected by the school's closure.
"We are pleased to be able to offer former ACI students this refund opportunity," said DPL Director Mark R. Kmetz. "In addition to the teach-out opportunities, fresh starts and loan discharges we have made available in the past few months, the claims process will provide some further relief to students affected by ACI's unexpected closing. We encourage eligible students to submit their claims as soon as possible, and look forward to working with them in the weeks ahead."
Students are eligible to submit a claim if:
- They did not or will not complete their program of study through ACI or a DPL-approved teach-out school;
- were denied a discharge of their federal or private student loan(s); or
- paid ACI for products or materials (books, software, etc.), but did not receive them.
Eligible students may file a claim by downloading, completing and mailing a claim form to DPL. The form is available on DPL's website, www.mass.gov/dpl/schools, and can also be accessed directly through the following link. Priority will be given to claims for tuition refunds, followed by claims for reimbursement of other costs paid to ACI.
All claims must be received before 5:00 PM EST, on Friday, October 4, 2013. DPL will evaluate the claims and notify eligible students about the determination of their claim.
DPL anticipates distributing refunds to eligible claimants before the end of the year. For more information about the claims process, students are encouraged to consult the most recent school closure bulletin available on DPL's website.
DPL has taken a number of steps to assist former ACI students affected by the school's closure. The Division has held several information sessions for students at each of the school's former locations and has obtained and distributed student records. DPL arranged "teach-out" opportunities to enable students to complete their studies at other approved schools or institutions, and has also worked closely with various federal and state agencies to arrange for loan discharges and other relief options. DPL continues to investigate the school's closure.
DPL is a regulatory agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of the licensing process for more than 370,000 licensees in trades and professions under the jurisdiction of 31 boards of registration.
DPL also licenses private occupational schools operating in Massachusetts. Oversight responsibilities for private occupational schools were transferred to the agency from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2012. Currently, there are 165 occupational schools licensed to operate at 245 locations in Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/dpl/schools.