Students at Hawaii university told to prepare for institution’s abrupt shutdown

Argosy University's Hawaii campus celebrates commencement exercises at the Hawaii Convention...
Argosy University's Hawaii campus celebrates commencement exercises at the Hawaii Convention Center. (Image: Facebook/Argosy University)
Updated: Feb. 14, 2019 at 11:00 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State officials on Wednesday issued an urgent message to Argosy University students in Hawaii, advising them to get their affairs in order ahead of the potential closure of the campus.

“The prudent thing for students to do is to act now. Get their transcripts while the school is open and there’s still employees around to help them,” said Jayson Horiuchi, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Hawaii Post-Secondary Education Authorization program specialist.

Alvin Javier is one of those students.

He is currently an electrical engineer and hoping to receive a master’s degree in business administration in May.

“It is a little concerning," he said. "I know myself and a lot of the students at Argosy University are pretty worried about what’s going to happen. It is kind of scary to think about the university abruptly closing at any time.”

Dream Center Education Holdings, the university’s parent company, filed for receivership in federal court last month. Receivership is a bankruptcy procedure in which the court could appoint a third party to assume control of the university’s assets.

As a result, Argosy’s accrediting agency has put the school on “show cause” status, which could result in the termination of the campus’ accreditation.

In the event that the school loses accreditation, or that the campus closes entirely, the DCCA is asking students to get their academic, financial and educational records from the institution “as soon as possible.”

“The fact is that Argosy University is in a dire financial situation right now. They’re in a federal receivership, they’re facing a loss of accreditation. So the state can’t predict exactly what will happen, we just want to encourage students to prepare for the worst and get their student records now,” Horiuchi said.

The university has a downtown Honolulu campus and classes on several neighbor islands with about 800 students.

Despite its relatively small footprint, the school has sponsored the Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant for at least six years now and have offered donations totaling tens of thousands of dollars.

Current Miss Hawaii Penelope Ng Pack says the school has been generous.

"As Miss Hawaii, I received a full tuition to whichever program I choose – and even as a local title holder my first two years competing for Miss Hawaii – I walked away with more than $20,000 in scholarship tuition total,” she said.

Winners have also gone on to get higher degrees.

“Argosy University provides scholarship to every contestant or candidate that participates in Miss Hawaii Organization. So whether you’re competing in a local competition or whether you walk away with that title or not, you earn some scholarship money to Argosy University," Pack said.

More information about the school’s situation can be found here.

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