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School Closure Information for Brightwood College (Sacramento)

The Office of Student Assistance and Relief (OSAR) has been informed that Brightwood College (Sacramento) will be closing. In order to assist students, OSAR representatives will be available at the following date and time:

Student Workshop LocationStudent Workshop Date/Time
Department of Consumer Affairs
1625 N. Market Blvd., Hearing Room
Sacramento, CA 95834
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
(Students may come at any time between these hours for assistance)

Students' Rights

We want you to know that you have rights when your school closes.

  • You Have the Right to Request a Refund From Your School.
  • You Have the Right to Request to Have Your Student Loan(s) Discharged. Contact Your Loan Servicer to Request a Loan Discharge. If You Aren’t Sure Who Your Loan Servicer is, Contact the National Student Loan Data Systems.
  • You Have the Right to Request Reimbursement of Your Tuition From the Student Tuition Recovery Fund. Complete the Student Tuition Recovery Fund Application to Begin the Process.
  • You Have the Right to Transfer to Another School. Transferring Any Credits/Units to Another School May Affect Your Eligibility for a Loan Discharge or Tuition Reimbursements.

Veteran Students

Veteran students are encouraged to visit the GI Bill Web site at to access the GI Bill Comparison Tool, an easy-to-use online tool that provides information to calculate benefits and research approved programs, tuition/fees, housing allowance, graduation and loan default rates.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) administers the GI Bill, and makes all determinations related to Veteran education benefit eligibility and payments. The USDVA also regulates entitlements paid to Veterans and performs all calculations. All questions regarding eligibility and payment of GI Bill benefits must be directed to the USDVA at 1-888-GIBILL1.

  • USDVA will not pay GI Bill education benefits at an unapproved institution.
  • Only the USDVA can provide assistance or address questions related to GI Bill eligibility or payment.
  • Questions or concerns related to Brightwood College should be directed to school representatives.
  • Visit the USDVA’s GI Bill website at access education benefit information.
  • Visit the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Web site at to obtain assistance with other Veteran needs and services.

Students are encouraged to monitor OSAR’s website along with its Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages regularly for up-to-date information on the resources available to students following their school’s closure. Please direct any questions for the Office of Student Assistance and Relief to (888) 370-7589, Option #5 or email us at [email protected]


A college with three campuses in San Diego shut down nationwide just one day into a new semester.

Brightwood College closed its doors to students forever Wednesday. Some of the students were weeks away from finishing their programs.

“The dean of nursing comes in and says, starts crying and tells us, ‘Oh, the school’s being shut down. We need everyone off campus,’” Michelle Zavala said. “We didn’t think this was going to happen because today was the first day of class.”

Education Corporation of America owns the private for-profit school, with 74 campuses across the nation.

The Kearny Mesa campus was one of three Brightwood College locations in the San Diego area. The other schools were in Vista and Chula Vista.

Rumors were going around campus about a possible closure the week before but many didn’t believe them, another student said.

“You had a hint something might happen but not a definite answer, and then all of a sudden, BAM, here we are,” said student Alan Whaley.

Whaley, a veteran, was studying to be a patient care technician. He was one month away from graduating.

“I don’t blame the teachers and staff here,” Whaley told NBC 7. “I don’t blame them at all because it’s not really up to them but the corporation is what we’re upset with.”

The president and CEO of Education Corporation of America, Stu Reed, sent an email to students saying new requirements from the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) became “challenging,” resulting in its closure.

ACICS was founded in 1912 and is the largest national accrediting organization of degree granting institutions, according to its website.

The accreditation loss resulted in “an inability to acquire additional capital to operate our schools,” Reed said.

At least 20,000 students across the country were affected.

“Teachers are losing their jobs, they’re losing their jobs, and we’re losing our schooling,” said Zavala, who attended class at the Kearny Mesa campus. “My heart sunk and I started crying. I didn’t know what else to do.”

Brightwood College urged students to order their current transcripts and to contact “local schools to determine transferability.”

“People that were going to graduate in the next three months just got told today, ‘Oh yeah, you’re almost done with your program and you can’t finish it off here,’” Zavala said.

Read the full statement from Brightwood College below:

Dear Students,

In early fall, we undertook a path to dramatically restructure Education Corporation of America (parent company of your school) in an effort to best posture it for the future. This plan entailed the teach out of 26 of our campuses and then the commitment of capital from our investors additional funds from investors.

However, recently, the Department of Education added requirements that made operating our schools more challenging. In addition, last night ACICS suspended our schools' accreditation with intent to withdraw. The uncertainty of these requirements resulted in an inability to acquire additional capital to operate our schools.

It is with extreme regret that this series of recent circumstances has forced us to discontinue the operations of our schools. Your campus will close this month. Please contact your Dean or Program Director for the specific closure date of your campus.

You will receive credit for all courses that you completed and passed by the closure date. Information on how to request your transcript will be posted at within the next few weeks. If you do not graduate this month, we encourage you to continue your career training by requesting your transcript and contacting local schools to determine transferability.

This is clearly not the outcome we envisioned for you or our schools, and it with the utmost regret that we inform you of this direction.

Stu Reed,

President & CEO

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Brightwood College

Defunct system of for-profit colleges in the United States

Brightwood College, formerly Kaplan College, was a system of for-profit colleges in the United States, owned and operated by Education Corporation of America. Main qualifications offered included health, business, criminal justice, information technology, nursing and professional training (trades) programs.[1] On December 5, 2018, Brightwood's parent company, Education Corporation of America, announced unexpectedly via an email that all of its schools would be closing in two business days. Staff was terminated without legally required notice.[2]


Before being acquired by Education Corporation of America (ECA) in September 2015,[3][4] Kaplan College was part of Kaplan Higher Education, a subsidiary of Kaplan, Inc.

Kaplan, Inc., purchased the American Institute of Commerce, a business training school founded in 1937, and renamed it Kaplan College in 2000, later renaming it to Kaplan University in 2004.[5]

In 2000, Kaplan acquired Quest Education Corporation, which served 30 schools in 11 states.[6] Quest Education Corporation was renamed Kaplan Higher Education in 2002.[7]

In April 2004, Kaplan Higher Education owned 64 campuses, including Hesser College in New Hampshire, and CEI College in California.[8]

California locations operated under the Maric College brand from 2004-2008, then as Kaplan College. In June 2008, Las Vegas-based Heritage College was folded into the Kaplan College brand. In 2010, the Texas schools acquired as part of the Quest purchase were renamed Kaplan College.

In October 2015, Kaplan College's Dayton, Ohio, campus was renamed Brightwood College.[9] The remaining Kaplan College locations became Brightwood College in February–March 2016.[10][11]

On December 5, 2018, it was announced that Education Corporation of America was shutting down all Brightwood College locations nationwide, due to loss of accreditation from the US Department of Education.[12][13]


  • Bakersfield, California (closed as of Friday 12/7/18)
  • Chula Vista, California
  • Fresno, California
  • Modesto, California
  • Los Angeles (Van Nuys), California (founded in 1982 as Modern Technology College)
  • Palm Springs, California (founded in 2004 as Maric College)[14]
  • Riverside, California (founded in 1990 as Computer Education Institute)[15][16]
  • Sacramento, California
  • San Diego, California (founded in 1976 as Maric College)[17][16]
  • Vista, California
  • Hammond, Indiana
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Beltsville, Maryland
  • Towson, Maryland
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (founded in 1990 as Professional Careers, Inc., later Heritage College)[18][19]
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Dayton, Ohio (Closed as of 12/7/2018)
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Arlington, Texas
  • Beaumont, Texas
  • Brownsville, Texas
  • Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Friendswood, Texas
  • Houston, Texas
  • Laredo, Texas
  • McAllen, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas (two locations)


Brightwood College is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). On December 12, 2016, ACICS was derecognized by the U.S. Department of Education.[20] April 2018, this action was under review, following a court ruling remanding the December 2016 decision to current Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Accreditation was finally lost December 2018.[21]


Alleged improper recruiting[edit]

Kaplan College, while a part of Kaplan Inc, was one of 15 for-profit colleges cited by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for deceptive or questionable statements that were made to undercover investigators posing as applicants.[22] The Pembroke Pines, Florida and Riverside, California campuses were both cited in the GAO report.[23] Andrew S. Rosen, President of Kaplan, Inc., described the tactics as "sickening" and promised to eliminate such conduct from Kaplan.[24] On November 30, 2010, the GAO issued a revised report with several significant edits, altering key passages and softening several of the initial allegations. However it stood by its finding that the college had encouraged fraud and misled potential applicants.[25] Five years later, Kaplan College was sold to Education Corp. and renamed Brightwood.


  1. ^"Brightwood College". Brightwood College. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  2. ^"Closure of Education Corporation of America raises questions about oversight and support for students".
  3. ^"Education Corporation of America Completes Purchase of Kaplan College Campuses". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  4. ^Fain, Paul (7 May 2015), "Can for-profit colleges survive their slump?", The PBS NewsHour, retrieved 10 September 2015
  5. ^"Statement of Accreditation Status". Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved 2015-09-15.
  6. ^"Kaplan Will Acquire a Chain of Post-Secondary Schools". The New York Times. 28 June 2000.
  7. ^"Educational Medical, Inc. Changes Name to Quest Education Corporation".
  8. ^Julie Flaherty (2004-04-25). "The Alternative Universe: A Guide". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
  9. ^"Dayton College Changing Its Name". Dayton Business Journal. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
  10. ^"Education Corporation of America Announces Re-Branding of Kaplan College Campuses". Business Wire. 5 October 2015.
  11. ^Callahan, Katie (February 28, 2016). "Kaplan College Rebrands as Brightwood College After Acquisition". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  12. ^Valencia, Jamel (2018-12-05). "Brightwood College campuses nationwide, including El Paso location to close". KFOX. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  13. ^"Brightwood College". Brightwood College. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  14. ^Brightwood College in Palm Springs, CA
  15. ^Brightwood College in Riverside, CA
  16. ^ abKaplan Higher Education Acquires Ten Cei Campuses In Southern California
  17. ^Brightwood College in San Diego, CA
  18. ^Brightwood College in Las Vegas, NV
  19. ^Kaplan Higher Education Acquires Heritage College
  20. ^"Important Information on the Derecognition of ACICS | U.S. Department of Education". Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  21. ^"Following Court Ruling, DeVos Orders Further Review of 2016 ACICS Petition | U.S. Department of Education". Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  22. ^"Testimony : For-Profit Colleges : Undercover Testing Finds Colleges Encouraged Fraud and Engaged in Deceptive and Questionable Marketing Practices"(PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-20.
  23. ^Blumenstyk, Goldie (2010-08-06). "Kaplan Suspends Enrollment at Campuses Where Federal Investigators Found Recruiting Abuses - Finance - The Chronicle of Higher Education". Retrieved 2013-11-20.
  24. ^Vise, Daniel de; Paul Kane (2010-08-05). "GAO: 15 for-profit colleges used deceptive recruiting tactics". The Washington Post. ISSN 0740-5421. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  25. ^Anderson, Nick (8 December 2010). "GAO revises its report critical of practices at for-profit schools". The Washington Post.

External links[edit]

Giant Leap New Year: Brightwood College

Information on the Closure of Brightwood College, Golf Academy of America, and Virginia College Texas Locations

Brightwood College, Golf Academy of America, and Virginia College Texas have multiple locations and officially closed December 2018. To keep up-to-date on information as it is made available, please visit this webpage from time-to-time to see updates.


The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has received copies of transcripts from Texas locations and is processing the documents. At this time, we estimate we will be able to fulfill transcripts in early 2019– current estimated date is end of January 2019. For those students currently enrolled, the transcripts might not have the most current information. We expect the institution to provide updated transcripts once the December term has ended and the transcripts are updated.

When transcripts are available, a student can request a copy of his/her transcript on file with THECB by completing a transcript request form at the Student Academic Record or Transcript Requests page.


ECA expects to mail Form 1098-T to students by January 31, 2019. The form is a tuition statement. Per the IRS, the statement is required to support any claim for an education credit. THECB does not have copies of this form and can’t issue a copy to a student.


THECB is working with other public and private institutions in Texas to determine the availability of comparable programs for transfer. As information is received, a list of programs and possible transfer institutions will be available at: Comparable Programs List.

Students may also directly search THECB’s Program Inventory if they wish to research possible transfer options. Please note: Students 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.

If students want to transfer quickly, please direct inquiries to the following email in order to request that ECA escalate the federal financial aid processing through the US Department of Education’s COD system: [email protected]


The US Department of Education has posted information to its website regarding the closure of the schools under Education Corporation of America (ECA). The ECA fact sheet and spreadsheet have been posted to the closed school communications web portal at: The portal includes references to the Virginia, Brightwood, and Golf Academy brands. All students should review these resources for questions regarding federal financial aid.

For additional financial aid information, please visit the general information page.

Please note: THECB does not have access to your federal financial aid or private loan accounts. Staff cannot answer questions as to the status of your financial aid.

Additional Questions

Please contact THECB staff if you have additional non-financial aid questions, including information on comparable programs: Cathie Maeyaert (512-427-6527)


Ca brightwood college

Education Corp. of America on Wednesday announced the closure of all of its campuses, including Brightwood College locations in Van Nuys and Riverside, as the company grapples with financial and accreditation challenges.

ECA, one of the nation’s largest for-profit college operators, runs 25 Brightwood Colleges. But the closures extend well beyond that.

The company owns more than 75 campuses, according to Inside Higher Ed, with about 20,000 students enrolled primarily in certificate-programs that include cosmetology, culinary arts and medical and dental assistant programs. Many of the career schools have already closed and others will close by year’s end.

Company representatives could not be reached for comment regarding the number of students and employees who are affected by the Van Nuys and Riverside closures.

ECA’s other schools include:

  • Brightwood Career Institute — four locations in Pennsylvania
  • Ecotech Institute — one location in Colorado
  • Golf Academy of America — five locations, in San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando, Myrtle Beach and Dallas
  • Virginia College — 11 locations scattered throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia

The privately held company — saddled with eroding student enrollments and strapped finances — recently closed about a third of its schools in an attempt to turn things around through a court-approved receivership. But it continued to be pursued by creditors after falling behind on payments and rent for many of its campus locations, Insider Ed said.

ECA filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education in October in an effort to retain its access to federal student aid, but that action was later dismissed. Other reports said the Accrediting Council For Independent Colleges and Schools suspended the Brightwood’s accreditation on Tuesday with the intent to withdraw.

ECA spokeswoman Diane Worthington told Insider Ed that the company is closing all of its career colleges, “effective with the completion of the current module or term for most students.”

“We will work with students to ensure access to their transcripts so they can complete their studies at another school,” Worthington said in a statement. “This is not the outcome that we envisioned and is one that we recognize will have a dramatic effect on our students, employees and many partners.”

JW Surety Bonds offered its take on how the closures could have been avoided.

Brightwood College opened its first campus in Dayton, Ohio in October 2015, and expanded to Friendswood and Houston, Texas in November 2015. Three more campuses in Maryland were added to the Brightwood lineup that year, and Kaplan College campuses in North Carolina, Indiana and Tennessee transitioned to Brightwood College in January 2016. In February 2016, eight additional Kaplan College campuses in California and 11 in Texas became Brightwood College.

Giant Leap New Year: Brightwood College

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