Information Pertaining to the Closure of Brensten Education, Inc.
The following information is being provided to students affected by the closure of Brensten Education, Inc. (Brensten). It is specifically intended for those students who were: a) enrolled at the time of the school’s closure; or, b) withdrew or were dropped from Brensten on or after September 12, 2015 (and are therefore within the federal government’s 120 day look-back period).
Federal Student Loans
The documents referenced below provide information about the federal student loan discharge process and implications related to continuing your education at another school. Please read them carefully to learn more about your options and updates on issues of importance to you.
The Educational Approval Board (EAB) believes a loan discharge may be the best option for students. Students who transfer to another institution in a similar program will not be eligible to have their student loans discharged. It may be possible to receive a discharge and enroll in a completely different program of study, subject to the approval of your loan servicer.
Despite exploring various options, a teach-out option with another institution will not be possible. Since students would not have been eligible to have their loans discharged under this scenario, we do not believe this would have been the best option for the vast majority of students.
Questions about the student loan discharge process, continuing your education at a different institution, or other federal financial aid related issues should be directed to your student loan servicer or the US Department of Education (E-mail or 800-433-3243).
The EAB has been working with former Brensten officials to ensure student records will be stored in a secure location, and students will have the ability to obtain a copy of their transcript. Because Brensten was unwilling to hold the student records and process transcript requests, the EAB has taken possession of all student records. The EAB will be storing and maintaining the records for Wisconsin students at its offices in Madison.
To obtain a copy of your transcript, you must submit a transcript request form to the EAB, which is available here. Please allow at least 2 weeks
Important Note: For students affected by the closure of Brensten Education, fees for the first transcript request will be waived.
As part of the program cost, students could take five different certification exams and each exam could be attempted up to three times without additional cost to the student. The EAB has been provided with a list of certification exams already passed by students. Students affected by the closure of Brensten will be able to take any remaining exams at another test center within one-year of their last date of attendance (a much longer time period than would have been available to students had Brensten not closed). The EAB has elected to extend the timeframe for
test-taking. The EAB will use its student protection fund to reimburse students for the cost of taking certification exams they have not yet passed; for up to three attempts per certification exam.
Students will need to make their own arrangements to take an exam(s) at an approved testing center. A list of approved testing centers can be found on the Pearson VUE website.
To receive their reimbursement for certification exams, students will need to submit documentation to the EAB relating to payment for the test and completion of it from the testing center. In addition, students will need to complete an IRS Form W-9 in order for you to be reimbursed for your exam fee. This form can be downloaded below.
Requests for reimbursement must include a receipt of payment, evidence of test completion, and an original (not a copy) completed and signed W-9 form Requests must be mailed to the below
address. No facsimiles or e-mails will be accepted.
Educational Approval Board
Attention: Blanca James
431 Charmany Drive, Suite 102
Madison, WI 53719
Private Student Loans | Out-of-pocket Tuition Payments
For students who used private (non-federal) student loans to help cover the cost of their tuition, such as Sallie Mae, the Bank of North Dakota, or other lenders; the EAB may be able to help pay-off some of those loans by using a state fund specifically designed to address school closures, if those loans were used to cover the cost of tuition to attend Brensten. Students who made out-of-pocket tuition payments may also be eligible to receive a refund. Based on student financial ledger information reviewed by the EAB, such instances are not common.
Students who had a private student loan that was used to pay tuition or made out-of-pocket tuition payments, should email the EAB. Students
will need to substantiate such payments and provide the EAB with relevant paperwork, including an IRS Form W-9.
1098-T Tax Forms
The 1098-T (tuition statement) forms used when filing your taxes have been mailed out directly by the accounting firm on 1/21/2015. If you have not received a 1098-T email the EAB and provide your name and address where the form should be sent.