Earlier this month, Dream Center, which operates schools such as Art Institute, Argosy and South University, started closing campuses around the country. As with the closures of other for-profit colleges like Corinthian and ITT Tech, tens of thousands have been left with a mountain of student loan debt, no degree, or a worthless diploma.

Dream Center had been in receivership since January – a way for the cash-strapped school to avoid filing for bankruptcy which would make it ineligible for access to federal student loans.

As the school’s financial fortunes declined even further, the crooks who run the schools stole money that was supposed to go to student stipends and spent it on payroll and other expenses.

What should former Dream Center students do?

Keep in mind that if your school closes while you are enrolled or within 120 days of your last day of enrollment, you are eligible to have your federal student loans cancelled.

Rule #1 is DON’T SIGN ANYTHING. In the past, for-profit schools in financial trouble have tried to persuade students to officially withdraw or to sign a teach out agreement with another school. This is a trap because, by either withdrawing or agreeing to transfer via a teach out, borrowers lose their right to a Closed School Discharge.

Be aware that in the past we have seen many scammers who try to get former for-profit students to pay them to fill out closed-school discharge or other loan relief paperwork on their behalf. There is no need to pay anyone to get loan relief that you are entitled to by law.

Finally, until your school appears as an officially closed school on the DOE website, you can’t apply for a closed school discharge.

The Debt Collective is in solidarity with all former Dream Center students. We will fight, collectively, for debt relief for everyone. Join our platform to share your story and learn more.