Northwest Aviation College to close

The Northwest Aviation College (NAC), located at Auburn Municipal Airport (S50) in Auburn, Wash., will cease class and flight operations at the close of business March 31, 2012.

“We are doing everything we can to complete current term coursework prior to April 1,” said Michael Kopp, Northwest Aviation College President. “We are also working hard to place each student at public institution of their choosing.”
NAC had 50 students as late as summer 2011. Currently, 20 are enrolled in the college, with another six taking Part 61 or Part 141 instruction outside the college. The vast majority “80%-90%, if not more,” of the students were enrolled using GI Bill funds.

In August 2011, the Post 9/11 GI Bill underwent a number of changes mandated by Congress. Chief among those affecting NAC was a dramatic cut in private institution (which NAC is) funding. Those cuts directly impacted enrollment. As a result, students are showing an interest in nearby Clover Park Technical College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, among other public institutions.

Come April 1, all 25 full- and part-time employees will be looking for jobs. The six aircraft NAC exclusively leased will be sold by their owners.

“It is important to communicate that the Northwest Aviation College is not declaring bankruptcy,” continued Kopp. “Any student with a credit balance come March 31 will receive a refund for that credit. Further, any unused amount forwarded by a government agency on the behalf of a student will be returned to that agency for use at another education institution.”

The Northwest Aviation College was founded in 1992 as an accredited aviation degree granting arm of Auburn Flight Service. Auburn Flight Service will remain in operation on S50.

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