Brightwood Career Institute Closes Abruptly, Students Scramble

Some students left with debt, without degrees or certificates

Joe DeStio
December 07, 2018 - 8:26 am
Alexis Gurrola, a dental assisting student at Brightwood College in Corpus Christi

© Rachel Denny Clow/Caller-Times

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PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Students at Brightwood Career Institute in downtown Pittsburgh are scrambling after hearing this week the for-profit school will abruptly close its doors Friday.

Students were initially told they would be able to finish the academic year. On Wednesday, parent company Education Corporation of America announced classes would end this week.

Brightwood announced in September it would stop accepting students due to financial concerns. Now it’s the students, about 180 who started this term, who have concerns.

Brightwood is telling students with loans to apply for forgiveness with the U.S. Department of Education, leaving them with debt regardless of their completion of degrees or certificates.

Elizabeth Johnston at Community College of Allegheny County says they've heard from two students so far about transferring.

“We have a host of academic advisors and financial aid advisors and career counselors on-hand to help any individuals who may be impacted.”

Students looking to transfer should bring their unofficial academic transcripts to facilitate the advising and registration process.

Johnston says staff will work individually with students.

Other schools in the area reaching out to help students with transferring credit and aid: Geneva College, Pittsburgh Career Institute, Triangle Tech, Pittsburgh Technical College, Bidwell Training Center, and Rosedale Technical College.

These schools offer some programs similar to those available at Brightwood.

The Penn Ave. Brightwood campus is one of about two dozen closing nationwide.

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Jennifer Bloodworth contributed to this article. 

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