NYLAG Advocates on Behalf of ASA College Students
For years, NYLAG has advocated on behalf of students of ASA College, including by individually advising over 150 ASA students shortly after the school lost accreditation in late 2022 and closed in early 2023.
NYLAG’s work with ASA students has been featured in the press, including Documented and New York Focus. NYLAG approaches its work, including its work with ASA students, through a lens of racial equity. Most ASA students were people of color, and NYLAG has witnessed how school closures like ASA’s disproportionally impact people of color whose student loan debt is often the only remnant of their education.
As a leading civil legal services organization with decades of experience working with student loan borrowers, NYLAG attorneys are experts in student loan issues, including issues surrounding loss of accreditation and school closure. NYLAG has experience litigating class actions on behalf of groups of students of closed schools, and a NYLAG representative has sat on two Department of Education negotiated rulemaking committees to set federal regulations regarding accreditation standards
2014 Class Action Based on Deceptive Recruitment by ASA
In 2014, NYLAG represented a group of former ASA College students in a putative class action lawsuit against the school, Frica Sanchez v. ASA, No. 14 Civ. 5006 (S.D.N.Y.). To settle those students’ claims, ASA agreed to a prohibition on all false, misleading, and deceptive recruitment.
2022 Deceptive Advertising by ASA
In 2022, NYLAG spotted deceptive and misleading ads on the New York City subway, many of which were also posted online. NYLAG alerted ASA’s accreditor and New York City officials. The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker protection ultimately fined the school more than $100,000 for the false advertisements.
2022 Loss of Accreditation
On November 11, 2022, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education announced that it was withdrawing accreditation from ASA College. NYLAG quickly responded as soon as ASA’s loss of accreditation was announced, providing critical advice to students left without clear options. NYLAG immediately opened a hotline to field questions from and provide advice to students, who were left in limbo. On December 2, 2022, NYLAG sent a letter to the United States Department of Education, ASA’s accreditor, and State and Local officials, advocating for ASA students to be provided information and resources. On January 20, 2023, after speaking with dozens more ASA students, NYLAG wrote another letter to ASA’s accreditor and government officials raising urgent concerns with ASA. New York State then began a review into ASA based on many of the issues raised in NYLAG’s letter.
On February 24, 2023, ASA closed. On March 8, 2023, NYLAG sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education to ensure that ASA was immediately listed as a closed school. Shortly thereafter, the Department did so; ASA is now formally listed as closed by the Department of Education and its accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. NYLAG continues to provide legal advice to ASA students following the schools’ closure. Many ASA students who were enrolled at ASA near the time of its closure will be eligible to fully discharge (cancel) the federal student loans they borrowed to attend ASA. NYLAG has identified dozens of ASA students who are eligible for loan cancellation.
Important Information for ASA Students
- Frequently Asked Questions compiled by NYLAG
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (ASA’s accreditor): ASA page and Frequently Asked Questions
- New York State Education Department’s ASA page
- Open Letter from NYLAG Documenting ASA’s Closure
- Instructions for the National Student Loan Data System
- Closed School Discharge Application