Education Corporation of America, Inc. (ECA) discontinued all academic operations in Colorado on Dec. 7, 2018, affecting three locations in Colorado operating as Brightwood College, Brightwood (ITA) and Ecotech Institute.
The Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Division of Private Occupational Schools (DPOS) is working closely with students, ECA headquarters in Alabama and Colorado institutions of higher education to support Colorado students through this transition.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: As of Dec. 21, 2018, DPOS will allow former Ecotech Instiute students to access their transcript for free for the next three months. To request a transcript, please read the directions and fill out the forms at the bottom of this webpage.
DPOS will post transfer options on this webpage as soon as they are available. Please check back for updates.
Students affected by the closure of the ECA campuses have three options:
Information Regarding Federal Student Loan Forgiveness
If you took out loans to attend Brightwood College or Ecotech Institute, you may be eligible to have your federal student loans discharged and have any amounts already paid on those loans reimbursed. Federal regulations provide that students who are actively enrolled in a school that closes, or who withdrew up to 120 days before the school closed and were not able to complete their program of study, can apply for a Closed School Discharge of their Federal Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loans or FFEL Loans used to attend the closed school.
To receive a Closed School Discharge, you must file an application to your loan servicer. You can determine your current loan servicer and check how much you currently owe in federal debt at www.nslds.ed.gov. You should contact your loan servicer with questions related to the Closed School Discharge process to obtain an application. You can also print this application and submit it to your servicer.
Information Regarding Refund through DPOS
Information regarding the state refunds process will be posted shortly.
DPOS is working on all available options to transfer Brightwood and Ecotech credit into specific academic programs. We will continue to post program options as they become available.
If a student chooses to pursue a teach-out or transfer opportunity (Option B), the student cannot pursue loan discharge and state refund. If a student chooses Option A, the student cannot pursue a teach-out or transfer.
In this option, students will independently transfer to another school. Credit transfer is subject to the receiving institution's transfer policies. We will post transfer opportunities as soon as they become available.
DPOS has been working with ECA to host an informational open house for Brightwood and Ecotech students that will walk through transfer credit agreements, credit for prior learning and veteran experience, teach-out agreements and other opportunities for students to reach their educational and career goals. We will post the date and times of these open houses as soon as they are scheduled.
U.S Department of Education webinars
The U.S. Department of Education is hosting series of informational webinars for those affected by ECA closures. Review the schedule.
Students using Veteran Administration Education Benefits should contact the Maryland State Approving Agency for details on transferring GI Bill® benefits and ensuring program approval for the use of VA Education Benefits. Veterans with specific inquiries may call 1-800-974-0203 or send an email to email@example.com.
Please note: To continue your education using your Title 38 educational benefits, you must be enrolled in a qualified program or educational institution.
Visit the GI Bill® Comparison Tool for assistance in selecting an alternate program or school. You can also find research information regarding school tuition and fees, basic housing allowance rates, graduation statistics and loan default rates.
You can find a complete list of qualified programs and schools on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
For further assistance
Administered through CollegeBoard, the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) allows students from a wide range of ages and backgrounds to demonstrate their mastery of introductory college-level material and earn college credit. Students can earn credit for what they already know by getting qualifying scores on any of the 33 examinations.
Peterson's, an educational services company, is offering free CLEP test preparation for students affected by the EcoTech Institute and Brightwood College's closing. For more information, visit the Peterson's website.