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Lawmakers demand federal investigation of Argosy University finances

Argosy University at 1403 N Howard Ave. is the subject of federal officials, who are demanding answers about the school’s finances. The school has failed to disburse millions in federal student aid to its students, officials say. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
Argosy University at 1403 N Howard Ave. is the subject of federal officials, who are demanding answers about the school’s finances. The school has failed to disburse millions in federal student aid to its students, officials say. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published Feb. 28, 2019

Four members of Congress from Florida are demanding that the U.S. Department of Education conduct a "full investigation" of financially troubled Argosy University, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist announced Thursday.

The St. Petersburg Democrat sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that also requested "immediate and direct assistance" for Argosy students who have not received federal money that should have been disbursed to them by the school.

Crist was joined by representatives Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, and Darren Soto, D-Orlando.

Argosy has locations across the country, including a Tampa campus at 1403 N Howard Ave. that enrolls some 450 students.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Argosy University, in federal receivership, faces demand from accrediting agency

The school's parent company, Dream Center, is in federal receivership over unpaid debts and on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post, was removed from the federal government's student aid program.

The Department of Education found that $13 million in federal aid was unaccounted for. The school had failed to give students refunds due to them after their federal loan funds covered tuition, the Post reported.

That money is often used to cover housing and other expenses while students attend school.

"It appears that Argosy and their parent company Dream Centers have burned through funding designated for others, leaving our students holding the bag," Crist said in a statement.

"Students already have too many things to worry about and being taken advantage of by their school should not be one of them," Castor said. "My Tampa Bay colleagues and I are demanding answers for students and their families, so something like this never happens again."

The letter was sent to DeVos on Wednesday.

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