Information on the Closure of Virginia College - Chattanooga
If you have any questions, please contact the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Division of Postsecondary State Authorization at 615-741-5293.
You are also encouraged to check this webpage from time-to-time to see updates.
Education Corporation of America (ECA), the owner of Virginia College locations and Brightwood College, has developed a webpage with information that might be helpful to you. The site is https://www.ecacolleges.com.
On November 14, 2018, John F. Kennedy was appointed as the Receiver for ECA. Information regarding ECA’s receivership, including filing a proof of claim, is available at http://www.omnimgt.com/eca . Telephonic inquiries can be made at: 888-204-0736. May 23, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. (Prevailing Eastern Time), is the last date and time for each student to file a proof of claim against the Receivership. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is providing this notice for informational purposes and cannot provide advice concerning the receivership, including filing a proof of claim.
THEC has received transcripts for Virginia College located in Chattanooga. We are currently processing the transcripts for distribution. During this process you can request your transcript, and THEC will make every effort to fulfill the request within ten (10) business days of receipt of your request. For additional information see https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization/academic-transcripts.html.
ECA has engaged Parchment to provide ECA issued credentials, including transcripts, diplomas, degree verifications and enrollment verifications. This includes Brightwood College, Brightwood Career Institute, Virginia College, Ecotech Institute and Golf Academy of America. To place an order, students can go to https://www.parchment.com/education-corporation-america/.
- Comparable programsprovided by public institutions and institutions regulated by THEC
- As to public institutions, you can visit https://www.tbr.edu/academics/programs and search by Program Name to learn more about state community college and Tennessee colleges of applied technology offerings.
- Transferability of Credits: You should never assume that credits will transfer to or from any educational institution. The determination as to whether to accept credits is at the discretion of the receiving institution.
Please go to https://www.tnreconnect.gov/ to learn more about opportunities available through Tennessee Reconnect.
Please visit https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/FGIB/Restoration.asp to learn more about your options. Some benefit eligibility may be restored depending on the details of the closing and your particular circumstances.
FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS AND PELL GRANTS:
UPDATED 12/13/2018: The United States Department of Education (USDOE) has created a closed school communications portal for Virginia College and Brightwood College. This page contains a lot of information concerning closed schools generally as well as specific information about your institution. To access the general page please go to: StudentAid.gov/closures.
For information on upcoming USDOE webinars, go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/education-corporation-america-webinars.pdf.
For a fact sheet regarding Virginia College, Brightwood College and other institutions owned by Education Corporation of America, go to www.StudentAid.gov/eca.
TUITION GUARANTY FUND:
The TGF was established by the Tennessee General Assembly to reimburse students at certain postsecondary educational institutions that close without earning the tuition collected. This is called unearned tuition.
- TGF applies only when the closing institution is authorized by THEC and (1) a student attended a physical location of the school in Tennessee or (2) a student is a Tennessee resident and attended a location of the institution outside of Tennessee.
- A claim for reimbursement of the unearned tuition must be made within two years of the date the institution discontinued operations.
- Unearned tuition includes tuition, registration, general graduation, activity, or other fees that are required to be paid by all students where the institution did not complete the educational obligation or reimburse students.
- Monies paid for tangible goods, such as books and equipment, are not reimbursable.
- Monies paid for program specific costs are not reimbursable by the TGF, e.g. certification fees charged separately to a student's account.
- Monies for expenses such as housing, meals, clothing and transportation, not paid directly to and retained by the institution are not reimbursable.
If you believe you fall into one of these two situations you can file a TGF claim by completing the Tennessee Tuition Guaranty Fund (TGF) Claim Application and the related Tuition Guaranty Fund (TGF) Information Release Authorization. Before filing a claim, please contact the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s Division of Postsecondary State Authorization at 615-741-5293. Note that both documents must be completed before THEC will consider your claim. The length of time to review a claim will depend on the number of complaints received and the process could be lengthy. To download the forms, please visit the DPSA Links and Forms page and click on the DPSA Applications/Forms.