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Florida For-Profit Colleges – Tips from an Education Lawyer

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2015

This week came the sad, but not so shocking news, that Dade Medical College announced last Friday that it was closing its doors, effective at the end of the day. This had led to thousands of students being left with nothing. Unfortunately, this is not such an uncommon occurrence I see all to often as an education lawyer.As the Miami Herald reported, amid heightened federal scrutiny and mounting debts, Dade Medical College was unable to keep from going out of business. Former Dade Medical students have accused the school of selling an overpriced and poor-quality education. Dade Medical’s graduates had low passage rates for license exams in nursing and physical therapy assistance. Its 2014 nursing passage rate at its former Hollywood campus was 13 percent.In recent years, we have seen many of these for-profit schools selling professional and technical degrees fail. Whether it be ATI or now Dade Medical, this is an all too common occurrence here in Florida. Instead of graduates on their way to the profitable and fulfilling careers they were promised, students only rack up tens of thousands of dollars in debt, with little to no job prospects waiting for them.What is the best way to protect oneself? Of course, due your research. How long has the school been in business? Has there been any lawsuits against the school? Has any action been taken against the school by either the Florida or U.S. Department’s of Education?One thing to consider before enrolling in a private for-profit school such as these is whether or not local public community colleges can offer you the same degree or certification. Public community colleges are part of the Florida Education system. I agree with the Herald, these schools generally deliver better results for students and at much cheaper costs.

What To Do Now

If you were a Dade Medical student, what do you do now? On Friday, the Florida Department of Education said that it is working to transition students to others schools in the area offering the same programs. Another option is for those students with federally backed student loans, to seek loan forgiveness from the U.S. Department of Education. It allows students who are attending a college that closes (or who dropped out of the closed school within the past 120 days) to ask for their federal loans to be forgiven. Students wishing to take advantage of this should act quickly. More information about this process can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1Q0qmwi. Further, here at Asselta Law, a Florida Education law firm, we can help provide assistance. Whether it is helping with applying for loan forgiveness, attempting to get transcripts, or perhaps pursuing direct legal action against a school, we can help. Richard Asselta is an education law attorney and the founder of Asselta Law, PA, located in Florida. Asselta Law concentrates on Education and School Law, as well as Appeals. Mr. Asselta was the attorney for a large public school district. He draws upon the knowledge gained from the other side of the table to work with teachers and students on legal issues in all education settings. Asselta Law represents clients throughout the state of Florida and the United States. Contact us today for a free consultation with a knowledgeable education lawyer. Credit cards accepted. Affordable payment plans available.

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