Dream Center Receivership

Student Defense is representing several groups of students harmed by the collapse of the Dream Center and its affiliated schools, and the subsequent receivership proceedings. We moved to intervene in the proceedings in the Northern District of Ohio on behalf of three distinct groups of students:


1. Victims of accreditation deception

On February 6, 2019, Student Defense filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit in Ohio to protect the interests of its clients, former students at the Illinois Institute of Art, in a receivership proceeding involving their school and its operating company, Dream Center Education Holdings. Student Defense had sued IIA and Dream Center for concealing from students that the Art Institute had lost accreditation. As a result of this concealment, students wasted tuition money, loan eligibility, and time on unaccredited courses and, in some cases, unaccredited degrees. The motion to intervene is available here, and more information about the motion is available in this press release.

2. Students missing federal stipend funds

Thousands of students attending Dream Center schools including Argosy University, the Art Institutes, and Western States College of Law did not receive approximately $16 million in federal student aid living stipends that should have been disbursed in early 2019. Student Defense moved to intervene on these students' behalf, as many have suffered significant hardship including eviction due to the missing funds.

Student Defense Senior Counsel Alex Elson was quoted in the New York Times regarding the missing stipends: "Seeking $2.1 Million After College Chain’s Collapse (to Repay Its Guardian, Not Students)"

3. Psychology students whose records were destroyed

Students pursuing graduate degrees at Argosy University’s Georgia School of Professional Psychology discovered that their files had been shredded, leaving them unable to transfer to other degree-granting institutions, to secure internships, or to get licensed. Student Defense filed a motion to intervene on behalf of a group of students, seeking to find ways to ameliorate the damage. The motion to intervene is available here.