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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

August 25, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Is your college financially stable?

Michael Osbun / Op Art

Michael Osbun / Op Art

Earlier this year, the six Washington campuses of Everest College, a for-profit school,  were put up for sale after the parent company ran into financial and legal hot water.

That raises interesting questions for students: How do you know if your college is financially sound? And should you be worried if it isn’t?

The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit education news site out of New York, recently suggested five steps you can take to make sure the college you’re attending is financially solid. (The issue applies to nonprofit and for-profit schools, since public colleges and universities aren’t going to run into the kinds of financial problems that would force a closure unless the state itself runs out of money.)

It’s worth paying attention to the financial soundness of your school because, as the Hechinger Report notes, students attending a college that abruptly closes must find another place to continue their education, and they may find it difficult to get credit for the classes they took at the closing school. It can also be challenging to transfer student loan paperwork. And a shuttered college will likely be diminished in the eyes of employers.

Here’s a link to the story that lists ways to go about checking out your college or university. Some of the tips:

Check with the regional accrediting agency to see if the school is in any kind of financial trouble, pay attention to what the credit rating agencies say about the school, and be wary of any talk of a merger. You can also check to see if the U.S. Department of Education is giving the school poor marks for financial soundness; at this time in Washington, only a few career college beauty schools are getting low marks for financial health.

Comments | More in News | Topics: Corinthian Colleges, for-profit colleges, higher ed

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