The Proprietary School Certification Program serves as a clearinghouse for information about closed Missouri postsecondary schools. The department receives many inquiries from, or on behalf of, students who attended schools that have since closed and strives to maintain accurate information regarding where the records are stored. Below are some frequently asked questions about school closure.

I cannot seem to contact the school I attended. I do not know if it is closed but I cannot find them listed anywhere. What should I do?
Contact the MDHE. While the school might be closed, there are a number of other possibilities. Your school might have changed its name or location, maybe more than once. Sometimes two schools merge into one and assume a different name. Occasionally, a school will close its postsecondary programs but continue to operate as a different type of education institution. While the department may not always be able to find the school you attended, it maintains information about these types of changes and often can point you in the right direction.

I need copies of my student records (transcript) from a Missouri school that is now closed. How do I get copies of those records?
While the department cannot assure that the records are available, it strives to maintain an accurate and up-to-date listing of contact information to help students obtain copies of their records. Keep in mind, MDHE only has information about schools located in Missouri.

 

In some instances, MDHE has the records on site and can respond directly to your request. If MDHE is storing the records, you will need to submit a signed written request in order to receive a copy. For others, the records are stored at another school within the state. In that case, the department can provide you with the most up-to-date contact information. Regardless of where your records are stored, you will need to know the name of the institution you attended, your name at the time of attendance, and the dates you attended. In some cases, it may be helpful to have your Social Security number and the name of the program of instruction.

Information on Missouri institutions that closed prior to 1985 (that is, prior to the creation of the proprietary school certification program), is often very limited or nonexistent. In many cases, these schools closed without any notification to the MDHE or to other higher education agencies. In such cases, the department has no way of knowing how or if those records were preserved. However, you should contact the MDHE in case the department has some information. In addition, MDHE would be happy to provide you with written confirmation that the records are not available, if that fact can be determined.

Is there a fee for my student records?
The MDHE charges a fee of $10 per copy of your student records. Payment must be via check or money order and be made payable to the Missouri Department of Higher Education-Proprietary. Do not submit payment until directed to do so by MDHE.

What happens to the student records from schools that close?
Since 1985, Missouri statutes require private career schools and other institutions that are approved to operate by MDHE to provide for the permanent storage of the records of students who attended the institution. In general, arrangements are made with another school to take and preserve the records. In some cases, the MDHE has taken possession of the records and is serving as the record custodian.

For higher education institutions that are not subject to those requirements, MDHE attempts to assist with the storage and preservation of student records and to serve as a conduit for information and assistance to the institution and students.

I need a copy of my financial aid transcript from a school that is now closed. How do I get copies of those records?
If you attended a school that is now closed and you need a financial aid transcript to qualify for federal aid at a school you want to attend, the financial aid office at the school you wish to attend will submit a Financial Aid Transcript request.  You may alo review your federal financial aid history at any time by creating a Federal Student Aid ID (FSAID) at studentaid.ed.gov/sa/# and logging into the Federal Student Aid website or the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

You may also call the Federal Student Aid support center at (800) 433-3243.

The school I am attending is closing. What should I do?
Missouri statutes require schools certified to operate by the MDHE to provide enrolled students with the opportunity to complete their program of instruction (either at the closing school or at another school in the area) if they close. If such arrangements cannot be made, the school must provide the student with a refund.

Missouri does not have a tuition protection fund that provides for the refund of tuition in the case of school closure. As a consequence, the school must make any refunds directly to the student. In some cases, however, if the school's closure is conducted in violation of certification standards, the MDHE may be able to obtain the security deposit posted by the school and make partial refunds to displaced students.

If the school you are attending is closing, work closely with school officials in order to ensure that you get the benefit of any opportunities to complete your training.