The Art Institute Durham And Charlotte Campuses To Close

Jul 3, 2018

A man walks out of the Art Institute at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham on Monday, July 2, 2018.
Credit Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

The Art Institute campuses in Durham and Charlotte are expected to close sometime this year, according to a memo sent to employees Monday and obtained by the News & Observer. The decision, as well as the expected closing of South University in High Point, could affect approximately 3,000 students.

Students attending one of the three campuses have certain protections under state and federal law, specific to their individual circumstances. Those could include the ability to receive federal loan forgiveness or a teach-out plan allowing program completion. Affected students can get more information from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Art Institutes of Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte offer classes in animation, culinary arts, design, and more. Both campuses, in addition to South University in High Point, were purchased earlier this year by a California-based non-profit. As a result they were to become non-profit schools, but that transfer had not yet been approved the federal Department of Education -- a delay that could affect the colleges' ability to receive federal student loan dollars.

The previous for-profit owner of the three colleges,  Pittsburgh-based Education Management Corp., was involved in a settlement in 2015 requiring it to reform enrollment practices, and forgive more than $1 million dollars in student loan debt.