A Message Concerning F.S.A. Student Loans
A Message Concerning F.S.A. Student Loans for All Concerned
The EGS received notification this summer that the U.S. Department of Education would not recertify our eligibility for participation in any F.S.A. student loan programs. We learned very recently that our appeal of this decision was not accepted.
The reason provided for this decision was the determination by D.O.E. that The EGS does not qualify as an eligible “foreign institution.” The explanation offered by D.O.E. is that the EGS degree programs are not recognized by the requisite governmental authorities in EGS’s principal site of operation. The D.O.E. understands Switzerland to be this principal site.
In appealing this decision, The EGS forwarded a letter from Yves Rey, Head of Service, Department of the Economy and Education, Higher Education Service, Canton of Valais, Switzerland. Mr. Rey indicated clearly that the EGS degree programs are in fact recognized in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland. The Canton of Valais holds the requisite authority in this matter.
The D.O.E. did not accept this statement from Mr. Rey as sufficient for its requirements. Apparently, only degree programs licenced and accredited by the Swiss authorities are recognized by the D.O.E. (though the D.O.E. does not use this language) for schools operating principally within Switzerland. The EGS degree programs are licenced (as Mr. Rey recognizes) in Malta.
Those interested can consult the relevant official documentation with the following link.
What This Means
We are now in the midst of receiving official instructions from D.O.E. concerning how to proceed in our transition out of the F.S.A. student loan programs.
Here is what we understand so far. This information is based on direct and repeated communication from D.O.E., so we expect future instructions only to add detail and specify procedures. Nothing said here is likely to change.
First, our participation in the F.S.A. student loan program does not end abruptly and immediately. EGS will be transitioning out of the program over the course of the next 12 months.
The academic/award year of 2021-22 is to be the last academic year in which EGS will participate in any F.S.A. student loan programs. As you will recall, academic/award years run from September 1 to August 31, according to D.O.E. regulations.
This is to say that the academic year that has just begun (2021-22) will be our last year for participating in any F.S.A. loan programs. As of August 31, 2022, EGS will be out of F.S.A.
Here is how things will work for the next academic year – until August 31, 2022.
Beginning immediately, no students new to the F.S.A. programs are eligible for F.S.A. loans to attend The EGS. This means that students who have never taken out F.S.A. loans to attend The EGS cannot take them out now.
Students who previously have taken out loans from F.S.A. to attend The EGS, and who have remained enrolled continuously in The EGS, can take out a loan in this new academic year (2021-22). However, that will be their last loan for attending EGS.
Beginning September 1, 2022, there will no longer be F.S.A. loans available to anyone to attend The EGS.
We wish to express to everyone receiving this letter our sincere regret that things have come to this pass. We have been working on this matter for several months already, and we believe that we have met and have demonstrated that we have met all the pertinent requirements. (Particularly in that nothing has changed since our previous successful recertification with D.O.E.) Even so, F.S.A. sees things otherwise.
We are seeking ways to attain a new certification with the F.S.A. and see possible paths. We are at work on the issue, but the task will require some time. In the meantime, we would like to extend to students who have been relying on F.S.A. loans the possibility of setting up a payment plan for their remaining tuition.
Please feel free to contact anyone in The EGS administration if you have questions, or would like to discuss your personal circumstances. (For matters relating to the F.S.A., please address your questions to Mark Cohen.) We will do everything we can to help students complete their studies at the EGS.
We will keep you posted on any developments.
With sincere regards,
Chief Executive Officer of the EGS