Harrison College Students Left Scrambling for Options Amid Closure

Sep 20, 2018

College students across the state are scrambling for options after Harrison College closed its doors Friday, with no warning. The college enrolled more than 1,300 students across its nine Indiana campuses.

One of these students is Ashlyn Bryant. She was slated to graduate from Harrison’s medical assistant program this March and learned of the school’s closure on Facebook.

“I have to find another option 'cause it seems like other schools I have to drive an hour away, or go to class every day," Bryant says. "And I can’t work and go to school that much.”

The Indiana Commission on Higher Education posted a list of schools for students to contact for a possible transfer. But these students may struggle to transfer their credits because Harrison College was not regionally accredited, and many schools won’t accept the credits for transfer.

Marian University announced Wednesday morning that it will offer scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $14,000 for Harrison College students. Spokesperson Mark Apple says Marian will consider students, regardless of Harrison’s overall accreditation status.

"We’re going to look at each student on a case by case basis to determine what exactly they studied and where, and make a determination from there as to which credits will transfer," Apple says. 

Ivy Tech and Indiana Wesleyan University have also agreed to work with former Harrison students to possibly transfer credits. 

In a press release, Harrison College listed their "preferred transfer institution" as National American University. The Argus Leader newspaper in South Dakota has reported that NAU is being sued for defrauding the U.S government for millions in student loans.

Bryant monitors a Facebook group for former Harrison College students. She says one of them has already transferred to NAU. She says some students are applying elsewhere, while others are just cutting their losses.  

But she says she'll still pursue an education. 

"I put in so much time and dedication to this school. And they just, ya know, they don’t care about us. They didn’t care about our education," Bryant says. "They just wanted our money basically and then shut the doors."

No one from Harrison College could be reached for this story.