Following Sudden Closing of For-Profit Brightwood Schools, Attorney General Shapiro Provides Update For Students Seeking Information

January 9, 2019 | Topic: Consumers

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced new information and resources intended to help students who previously attended Brightwood schools across Pennsylvania continue or complete their education.

In December 2018, Education Corporation of America (ECA), owner of Brightwood College, Brightwood Career Institute, Virginia College, Golf Academy of America and Ecotech Institute, announced that it would cease operations that same month.  Due to the sudden nature of the closing, more than 1,500 Pennsylvania students at campuses in Philadelphia, Broomall, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh were left with numerous questions regarding their transcripts, loans and transferring credits.

“The sudden closing of Brightwood schools left many students across the Commonwealth unsure of their academic status and the investment they made in their future,” said Attorney General Shapiro.  “My office has been working closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to help students and their families get answers to questions, and get back on track to complete programs and move on with their lives.”

Important new information announced today includes:

  • Students who were enrolled at Brightwood schools up until the date of their closure will receive a grade for the classes they attended, which will appear on their transcripts.
  • Similarly, if students were enrolled in the final class needed to complete their particular program at the time of the schools’ closures, their transcript will reflect the completion of the program.
  • Students may also be able to have their federal student loans discharged, and can get more information on that through the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

More information as to where students can find their transcripts, other schools in Pennsylvania that offer similar coursework or programs, and federal ‘closed school’ loan discharge details can be found at the PA Department of Education website.

“We will continue to provide regular updates for students as our investigation continues and we receive more information,” said Attorney General Shapiro.  “A great way to keep up with the news our office shares is to follow us on social media channels and our website.”

Students who require more information or otherwise believe they have been subject to unfair or deceptive practices by a for-profit educational institution are encouraged to file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General at They can also call 800-441-2555 or email

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