The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency has announced it is closing one of its call centers in the Keystone State, which will affect 77 jobs.
After extending its lease at a call center facility in Chester, Pa., in December, the student loan servicing company announced it will be closing that office later this year and transfer the work to other centers in operates across the state.
PHEAA has maintained a call center in Chester since 2012, according to a published report. One published report indicated the decision to close the Chester call center was a result of continued moves by PHEAA to reduce expenses and cut costs. There is some “uncertainty” regarding the future of a PHEAA contract with the U.S. Department of Education to continue servicing loans on behalf of the federal government, according to the report.
Affected employees will be offered the opportunity to relocate to another PHEAA call center in Pennsylvania. The company does not disclose how many call centers it operates, but a published report said that the next closest call center to the one being closed was in Harrisburg, where the PHEAA is based.
A spokesman for the PHEAA said it is not uncommon for its call centers to see 100% turnover among its employees. Last year, PHEAA closed a call center in Lower Allen Township, which employed nearly 500 individuals. They were also offered jobs at PHEAA’s Harrisburg office.
The PHEAA, which manages the Public Student Loan Forgiveness program on behalf of the federal government, has come under fire for its oversight of the program, specifically how it is not approving many people for entry into the program.