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Daniel Webster College Transition


Since 2009 Daniel Webster College (DWC) has been owned by ITT Education Services, a for profit company. In September ITT abruptly closed its postsecondary institutes because the US Department of Education had terminated access to student federal financial aid for those institutions and required substantial sums to be set aside to cover potential closure costs. DWC was the only educational institution owned by ITT that was separately accredited (by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, or NEASC), and permitted DWC to continue to award federal student aid. With ITT on the verge of bankruptcy -- a declaration that would have caused immediate loss of accreditation and therefore access to federal aid -- immediate action was required to provide a transition plan for current DWC students, faculty and staff. Fortunately Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) provided such a plan that was accepted by DWC and ITT, and approved by NEASC, the Higher Education Commission, and the US Department of Education. As detailed in the FAQ section below, this plan enables students close to graduation to complete their degrees on the Nashua campus this year and for all other students to have the opportunity to transition to SNHU and continue in their same academic programs. Students are not required to transition to SNHU, and may elect to transfer to other institutions. The following provides a link to the many other fine colleges and universities in New Hampshire: nhcuc.org

The following FAQ was prepared by SNHU and DWC, and will hopefully provide guidance. If there are additional questions, please contact the SNHU team now working on the DWC campus or the New Hampshire Division of Higher Education.

Daniel Webster College Transition: Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:

What is a teach-out?
A teach-out is a way to provide a continuation of academic programming in the face of potential closure of a university. In this case, SNHU will step in to provide the faculty, facilities, and student support necessary to deliver all DWC academic programs for the 2016-2017 academic year. At the end of the 2016-2017 academic year, students will either graduate, transfer to SNHU or transfer to another college or university.

Is Daniel Webster College Closing?
Yes. As of September 13, 2016, DWC ceased operations and ITT terminated all DWC employees on the 14th. Through an agreement negotiated with ITT and the assistance of the US Department of Education, DWC’s academic programs, athletics, student clubs, etc. will continue under the management of SNHU. The experience of students this year will remain unchanged (we actually hope it will be better once we get through this immediate transition period).

Is Southern New Hampshire University buying Daniel Webster College?
No. SNHU is leading a teach-out of all DWC programs. “Teaching-out” does not mean shutting down the programs. It means seeing students through to the completion of their programs. To that end, all DWC programs, students, and employees have been transferred to SNHU. The campus property is still owned by DWC parent company, ITT. We do have an offer on the table to purchase the property and have had no response.

What does this all mean for DWC students, faculty and staff?
The goal of the teach-out is to provide minimal disruption to DWC students. All classes will continue on campus in their current schedules, and residential students will continue to reside on the Nashua campus for the remainder of the academic year, served by the same faculty and staff. Details are still being worked out for what happens next year. The academic programs will continue, as mentioned, but may very well move to SNHU’s Manchester campus.

For this year, any DWC student with 90 credits or more (seniors, basically) will finish up and receive a DWC diploma. Those with fewer than 90 credits will receive an SNHU diploma. If a student wishes to transfer at the end of this semester or year, we will assist in that process. All students are now SNHU students at this point (even if seniors are receiving a DWC diploma) and we are responsible for every aspect of their experience going forward.

Because we have been asked to hire DWC employees almost overnight and don’t have time to go through the full hiring and onboarding process, we will officially hire all existing Daniel Webster employees in a temporary employee status so they will have no break in salary or medical coverage. We can then get our HR team to campus and transition most, if not all, employees to permanent status in an orderly process.

Why is SNHU offering a teach-out?

In the spirit of being a good neighbor and supporting the higher education community in New Hampshire, SNHU is leading a teach-out so DWC students can complete their degrees and have a normal year. SNHU firmly believes that a high-quality, affordable college degree is the key to success and we are committed to helping students achieve their college completion goals.

Will DWC students be moved to SNHU’s campus in Manchester?

All DWC students and courses will remain in Nashua for the 2016-2017 academic year. Once we get past this transition phase, we can assess the campus situation. Our sense is that we are most likely to move operations to the Manchester campus of 3,000 students (we urge you to visit it). Should our offer for the DWC campus be accepted, we will think through all of the options. We will be very transparent about the process and keep everyone informed.

Academics:

Will my classes continue at Daniel Webster College?
Yes, all classes will continue in their current schedules at DWC for the 2016-2017 academic year. We assume that all programs will continue in subsequent years.

SNHU does not offer my program, can still continue my classes?

Yes. SNHU has agreed to continue all academic programs for the 2016-2017 academic year. Our intent is to continue those programs beyond the 2016-2017 academic year as SNHU programs.

Who will have my transcript in the future?
Transcripts for students currently enrolled at Daniel Webster College (not yet graduated) will be held by SNHU. If you are a graduate of DWC, your transcripts will be held by the N.H. Department of Education, Division of Higher Education - Higher Education Commission.

Will all of my credits transfer?

If you continue on with SNHU, your Daniel Webster credits will transfer.
If you decide to transfer to another university, we cannot guarantee transfer of credits. Acceptance of transfer credits is always the prerogative of the “receiving” institution.

If I want to transfer, how do I obtain my academic records?
SNHU has maintained all student records and if you would like to access your records for transfer, our teams can help.

If I am in an ABET accredited program, will that continue to be the case?
ABET has never had a transfer of programs like this before but they are working with us and have suggested the following process: We will file to have the DWC ABET accreditation extended through the summer of 2017. That will ensure that accreditation continues for Seniors. At the same time, we will apply for SNHU to receive ABET accreditation. The time frame ABET outlined will allow us to complete their review process and have approval in time for May 2018 graduates. There is no automatic guarantee that we will receive ABET accreditation for SNHU, but we do not anticipate any problems since we are bringing forward the same program they recently affirmed, are retaining the same faculty, offering the same curriculum, and will provide significantly improved facilities and support for faculty development (two issues raised in the recent ABET review). On October 14th we will convene the faculty and appropriate staff to begin work on a state of the art, dedicated Engineering building. We hope that building can be complete for September 2018.

We are pursuing all other related certifications for other programs.

Where will graduation be held?
We are letting the Seniors decide if they would prefer to hold graduation on the DWC campus or as part of the SNHU events at the SNHU Arena in Manchester (formerly the Verizon Arena). Students with 90 credits or more cannot choose to have an SNHU diploma (that’s an accreditor rule), while students with fewer than 90 credits will have an SNHU diploma (assuming they complete their programs with us) since there will be no DWC after this year.

Financial Aid:


What happens to my financial aid and institutional aid?
During the first academic year (beginning Fall 2016) SNHU commits to matching all institutional aid that was being offered by Daniel Webster (a prior Financial Aid Award Letter and submission of the 16‐ 17 FAFSA is required) as well as all forms of federal financial aid. Students receiving financial aid will need to add SNHU’s school code to their FAFSAs. SNHU’s school code is 002580. Financial Services is available to serve any students needing assistance.

We ask for your patience as we set up accounts, but we are committed to getting students their regular financial aid refund by September 21.

What do I need to do to get my financial aid?

Students receiving financial aid will need to add SNHU’s school code to their FAFSAs. SNHU’s school code is 002580 and this is the one thing you must do ASAP to receive aid. Financial Services is available to serve any students needing assistance and we will have a team on the DWC campus to sit down with any interested parent and/or student.

Will I have to pay SNHU tuition and fees?
SNHU will honor the current rate of tuition and fees for all Daniel Webster College students for the remaining academic year. DWC students will have access to their 2016-2017 federal financial aid and all institutional aid. If you continue on with SNHU beyond the 2016-2017 academic year, you will be charged SNHU tuition and fees, but we will have teams in place to help you apply for aid and find a package that works for you. If you look at the SNHU web site, we look a lot more expensive than DWC. However, in reality, we offer substantially more scholarship aid than does DWC and our actual average net price is very close to DWC’s tuition cost. Remember that everyone’s situation is different and the best thing to do is to sit down with an SNHU staff person and review your individual case. We can give you clear information upon which to base your decisions and you can easily compare your expenses.

I am on a payment plan with Daniel Webster College, will SNHU honor that payment plan?
Yes, SNHU will honor all tuition, fees, payment plans, scholarships and institutional aid for the 2016-2017 school year.

Will my FIRST scholarship transfer to SNHU?
Yes, we will honor all student scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year. Our intent is to keep all students financially whole with no new or unexpected charges.

I’ve heard about “Borrower Defense Discharge” and “Closed School Discharge”, can you explain these options?
The most applicable option in the case of Daniel Webster College would be closed school discharge. You can get detailed descriptions of both programs here.
(https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation#approved)

Briefly, with “Closed School Discharge,” if your school has closed prior to you completing your degree program you can apply to have the loans you’ve taken at Daniel Webster College forgiven. For example, if you were previously enrolled at a community college and you transferred to DWC, loans taken at that community college would not be included in the forgiveness.

Important caveats to consider, if you apply for “Closed School Discharge” and it is granted (the US Department of Education rules on a case by case basis):

  • You would lose the credits you earned for the loan period forgiven.
  • Those credits would not transfer to any other college or university.
  • If you complete your degree program this option is no longer available to you, though there may be some exceptions to this rule -- for more details on possible exceptions click here.
  • If you take courses with SNHU and do not complete your degree program, you can seek “Closed School Discharge” for courses taken during DWC semesters; not for credits earned while enrolled at SNHU.

“Borrower Defense Discharge” is an option available to students who can prove their institution made fraudulent claims to them. After consultation with experts in this area, we believe borrow defense is generally not applicable in this situation because the teach-out arrangement allows you to continue your education in your program. However, borrower defense is defined by state law more information can be found on the NH DOE Complaint Resolution website.

Student Life and Athletics:

What happens to DWC athletics?
All fall athletics will continue on their current schedules. SNHU is in conversations with the NCAA and the Conference to determine next steps for DWC winter and spring athletics teams. Our goal is to continue all athletic programs for the 2016-2017 academic year, but approvals of these arrangements are required from the NCAA.

What happens to DWC clubs and student events?
All DWC clubs and student events will continue as planned this year.

What will happen to DWC facilities?

SNHU did not buy the facilities or the campus, we have a licensing agreement to use the facilities for the 2016-2017 school year. Since we do not control the campus, the disposition of the property will be in ITT’s hands. SNHU will continue with general maintenance of the buildings and facilities for the duration of the licensing agreement. We are optimistic that we will be able to finish the whole year on the Nashua campus (even if ITT sells the property to others, such sales take a long time and even longer if/when ITT is in bankruptcy proceedings, which we expect them to enter any time now). In the unlikely event that we would have to move, we are working on a Plan B. We have already identified excellent classroom space in Nashua and are working on other needed facilities. This is a remote possibility and local political leaders and the Congressional delegation have all promised to work on our behalf to stay on campus for the year, but we want to be prepared.

What happens to our DWC email addresses?
You will receive a SNHU email address, but for now, you will keep your DWC email addresses.

What happens to our computer systems?
The DWC computer systems will remain the same.

Will we lose use of the plane?
We are working to secure use of the plane. We seek to have the current lease with ITT transferred to us and we are confident that can be done in short order. Our goal is to make sure all of the resources in place and necessary to support students and academic programs remain so and improve.

Will DWC Students need to transfer to SNHU if they wish to continue with us?

No. DWC students will not have to go through our traditional transfer process. We have an expedited process for DWC students and SNHU will accept all DWC students who have a current GPA of 2.0 or better and are in good academic and social standing.

Do we need to do anything to move forward with transfer to an institution other than SNHU?
If you choose to transfer to a new institution after the semester or the year, you will need to apply to those colleges/universities and meet the admissions deadlines for those schools. You have ample time and we will assist you in that process should you choose to go that route.

What is a Penmen?
Good question! SNHU was founded as New Hampshire College of Accounting and Commerce and a “penmen” was a nickname for an accountant. The Penman figure today is a classic revolutionary war character charging forward holding a quill.

How can I see the SNHU campus?

You can certainly come any time to visit. We will also arrange for buses to bring interested students to campus and plan information sessions there as well. We think you’ll love the campus and we urge you to talk to SNHU students and ask them about their experience. We pride ourselves on small classes, attention to and support of students, superb facilities, and endless student opportunities and activities.


New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711