Robert Paul Academy of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences

School Closure Information

Robert Paul Academy Cosmetology of Arts & Sciences ("RPA") ceased offering instruction and offiically closed on March 15, 2021.  As such, RPA is no longer a private career school approved to operate in Maryland.  The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) is working closely with students, administrative staff at RPA, and other institutions of higher education to support Maryland students through this transition. MHEC is working to identify processes for students to obtain records, as well as transfer/teach-out options for students to complete their program of study.

This webpage will be updated regularly as information becomes available.  Please forward questions and inquiries about this closure to the following inbox:


Options for Students Enrolled at RPA at Time of Closure

Students affected by the closure of RPA have several options:

1.     Pursue a federal loan discharge and state refund of self-paid or private lender monies paid to the school – see more information below regarding federal loan discharge

2.     Pursue a transfer opportunity with an MHEC approved teach-out school – see more information below regarding teach-out and transfer

3.     Pursue a self-chosen/determined transfer to another school (subject to all transfer policies of the accepting school)

If a student chooses option #2 or option #3 then the student cannot pursue option #1. 

If a student chooses option #1 the student cannot pursue a teach-out or transfer.

Information Regarding Refunds through MHEC 

RPA students may be eligible for a refund for any non-title IV (non-Federal aid) paid to RPA.  More information regarding this opportunity will be posted here as details are confirmed.

Teach-out and Transfer Agreements with Maryland Institutions

If a student chooses to pursue a teach-out or transfer opportunity, then the student cannot pursue loan discharge and state refund.  If a student chooses option #1 the student cannot pursue a teach-out or transfer.

To date, RPA has entered into two teach-out agreements with approved Maryland cosmetology schools for students interested in finishing their program of study.  Students should read each transfer/teach-out agreement carefully. 

Additional teach-out agreements are being pursued.  Please check this website frequently for the most up-to-date information.  Agreements will be posted here as they become finalized 

Teach-out Agreements: 

Information Regarding Federal Loan Forgiveness

  • You may be eligible to have your federal student loans used to attend RPA discharged and any amounts already paid on those loans reimbursed. Federal regulations provide that students who are actively enrolled in a school that closes, or who withdrew up to 120 days before the school closed, and were not able to complete their program of study can apply for a Closed School Discharge of their Federal Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, or FFEL Loans used to attend the closed school.
  • To receive a Closed School Discharge, you must file an application to your loan servicer. You can determine your current loan servicer and check how much you currently owe in federal debt at You should contact your loan servicer with questions related to the Closed School Discharge process and to obtain an application.  You can also print this application and submit it to your servicer (see link copied below). You can learn more about the Closed School Discharge at
  • Download the Closed School Loan Discharge Form here:
  • Completing your program of study through another school can disqualify you from receiving a Closed School Discharge. As such, you should carefully consider your options and personal finances before continuing your studies or applying for a Closed School Discharge. For some people, having their loans discharged will be preferable to continuing their programs of study and being obligated to repay the student loan debt accrued at RPA. Students whose loans are discharged have the option of pursuing a new degree at institutions that are less expensive, such as state schools or community colleges.

Students using VA Education Benefits

Students using VA Education Benefits should contact the Maryland State Approving Agency for details regarding transferring GI Bill® benefits and ensuring program approval for the use of VA Education Benefits. Veterans with specific inquiries may call 410-767-3301 or send an email to: Veterans may also call the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-888-442-4551. 

Please note:  In order to continue your education using your Title 38 educational benefits, you must be enrolled in a qualified program or educational institution.

Visit the GI Bill® Comparison Tool for assistance in selecting an alternate program or school. You can also find research information regarding school tuition and fees, basic housing allowance rates, graduation statistics, and loan default rates.

You can find a complete list of qualified programs and schools on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

For Further Assistance Regarding VA Education Benefits:

- Visit the GI Bill®​ website to access education benefit information.
- All questions regarding eligibility and payment of GI Bill benefits must be directed to USDVA at 1-888-GIBILL1.
- Complaints regarding a specific school or program should be directed to 

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