Closure of Dowling College

Closure of Dowling College

On June 23, 2016, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education acted to withdraw accreditation from Dowling College effective Aug. 31, 2016. Consequently, on July 29, 2016, Dowling College officials notified the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that effective Aug. 5, 2016, the institution will cease operations and no longer offer instruction at its Oakdale or Shirley, New York locations.

If you are attending Dowling College when it ceases operations on Aug. 5, or withdrew from the school within the last 120 days before Aug. 5, you have three options:

  1. Apply for a closed school loan discharge or
  2. Elect to participate in the partnership agreement with Long Island University or one of the five other institutions partnering with Dowling (listed in a Dowling College letter to students) to accept transfer students or
  3. Transfer earned credit to yet another institution to continue your education in a comparable program

Closed School Loan Discharge

If Dowling closed while you were attending or soon after you withdrew, and you did not complete your program of study, you may be eligible for a closed school discharge. A closed school discharge is a 100% discharge of the federal Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, or Federal Perkins Loans you took out to attend the closed school and a reimbursement of amounts you have already paid to the government.

To apply for loan forgiveness through a closed school discharge, you can either

Note: Your Closed School Loan Discharge Application must be sent to your loan servicer. To find out who your loan servicer is, log in to My Federal Student Aid or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-800-730-8913).

You can no longer use your Federal Student Aid PIN. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create an FSA ID—a username and password—to log in.

Read our overview of the closed school loan discharge process for more information about the process and eligibility.

We encourage you to avoid paying companies for student loan consolidation or forgiveness services that your federal loan servicer provides on behalf of ED for free. Read our post on your rights and options as a borrower.

Credit Transfers

Instead of applying for a closed school discharge, you may choose to participate in the partnership agreement with Long Island University (LIU) or with Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, St. Joseph’s College, Farmingdale State College, Empire State College or Excelsior College and elect to transfer the credits earned at Dowling to these schools or another institution with a comparable program.

Additional information about the partnership agreements and the institutions, transfer fairs for Dowling students, and the availability and location of student transcripts and records can be found in Dowling’s letter to students impacted by the closure. You are not required to participate in any of the partnership agreements listed above.

If you decide to transfer into a comparable program offered by those listed above or by another school, your new school will evaluate your Dowling course work and will decide whether to give you credit for the work already completed and will determine what courses you need to take to complete your program of study. After Aug. 4, 2016, requests for transcripts and student records should be directed to the Office of the Registrar at LIU (as indicated in the student letter from Dowling).

ED is working with Dowling officials, as well as representatives from the New York State Education Department’s Office of College and University Evaluation (OCUE), to process student records from Dowling as soon as possible so that transfer schools can start assessing students’ remaining eligibility for federal student aid funds.

To find out more about licensed institutions with similar programs in your area, visit OCUE’s Inventory of Registered Programs or review ED’s fact sheet about Dowling’s closure.  Students interested in any of the programs found on an institution’s website should contact the institution to determine whether they can transfer their credits.

NOTE: If you transfer the credits or hours you have earned at Dowling toward a comparable program at another school, you will not be eligible to receive a closed school loan discharge.

If you have further questions, contact ED’s School Eligibility Service Group team at (202) 377-3173 or email your inquiry to