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Former Brightwood students wondering what comes next

Students are left wondering what comes next after Brightwood College closes its doors.

As Brightwood College closes its doors, students are left wondering what comes next.

"I hope that I don't have to start all over again because that would be devastating," says Maria, a former Brightwood student. "All we're getting at this moment is a transcript and a paper so that we can cancel our loan - call and cancel - that's basically all the resources we have."

Brightwood College was just one of the multiple for pro-fit institutions under the control of the Education Corporation of America (ECA). The Department of Education says they had given the ECA options that would allow for a transition period.

According to a statement from the Department of Education to CBS 4, the fact that the ECA instead opted to close their doors is disappointing.

"Instead of taking the next few months to close in an orderly fashion, ECA took the easy way out and left 19,000 students scrambling to find a way to finish the education program they started. The Department is ready to help ECA students with either transferring their credits to new schools or applying for closed school discharges."

CBS 4 spoke to students affected who say they are looking for a new school but are worried their credits won't transfer.

"I needed maybe two more months to finish and I'm not, depending on the situation," Maria says.

Texas State Technical College (TSTC) and the South Texas Training Center (STTC) hope to do their best to accommodate students left behind by Brightwood College. TSTC says they will gladly sit down with students to discuss their options but cannot promise their classes will transfer over - a sentiment shared by STTC.

"Our doors are open to any student that is looking or was affected by the situation," says Jonathan Diaz, an instructor with STTC.

"The possibilities are 100 percent, 50... we can't assure that everything will be credited but we're going to do our best to give you as much credit as we can," Diaz says.

The College of Healthcare Professions in McAllen, another school looking to help former Brightwood students, is holding information sessions to talk about their options.

Information on loan forgiveness and transferring to another school can be found on the Department of Education's website: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/closed-school

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