With the recent activity of college closures, I tend to take notice when potentially concerning information appears about for-profit school chains. I hate to see students caught off guard when their schools suddenly close like Education Corporation of America and Vatterot Educational Centers recently did.
When closures occur students are shocked and surprised. The wiffs of demise are kept from them in administration halls. It seems students who have incurred a lot of debt get the first clue they won’t graduate when they are turned away for their next class.
While those students may be eligible for a closed school discharge of federal student loans, what they can never have forgiven is the struggle and time they invested up to that point in that school. And those private student loans, yea those are theirs to keep. No forgiveness is available.
So when I noticed National American University had been delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange, it caused me to take a closer look.
According to Education Dive the stock has fallen below the minimum value required to remain listed on the stock exchange.
“From 2014 to 2018, NAU’s revenue dropped nearly 40% to $77.2 million in the fiscal year ending in May 2018, due primarily to enrollment declines. During that time, the company went from making profits of $3.5 million to a loss of $12.1 million in 2018, though it has been able to lower its costs in recent quarters by consolidating campuses,” says Education Dive.
I have no clue if the school will fold. However, the tea leaves say to me that students should develop their own backup plan now to protect their fall if the school does close.
This should include minimizing the use of private student loans that can’t be forgiven, discussions with nearby schools to see if they would accept NAU credits if students did need to transfer, and a plan if no other schools will accept NAU transfer credits. Oh, and don’t leave anything of value in a campus building.
Reviews about NAU are mixed on GradReports. As I write this piece the feedback isn’t wonderful.
A concern is if the quality of the education at NAU is slipping and the value of a NAU degree is declining.
Bottom Line – NAU students should hope for the best but plan now for the worst.