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On March 16, 2019, National American University announced that ground campuses would be closed, except for Ellsworth Air Force Base and King’s Bay Naval Submarine Base. 800,000 debt payment due May 17, 2019, and an ongoing federal False Claims lawsuit. National American University is currently under extreme financial stress and it is closing most of its campuses. In SEC reports, the parent company, National American University Holdings, has stated that it may not survive 2019. National American University was established in 1941 as a one-year secretarial school by Clarence Jacobson. It was called National College of Business and was located in a downtown Rapid City building. In 1960, Jacobson had the building that now houses administration for the Rapid City campus constructed at 321 Kansas City Street and moved National College to that location.
In 1962, NCB was acquired by Harold D. Buckingham and members of his family. Shortly after the Buckinghams purchased the school, a period of growth began which led to the construction of the classroom buildings, dormitories, a library, gymnasium, and an auditorium. NCB was granted collegiate accreditation as a junior college by the Accrediting Commission of the Association of Independent Colleges and Schools in 1966. Senior college accreditation was granted in 1970. The 1970s brought another period of growth, this time with the addition of several branch locations in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions. 1997 the university name was changed to National American University.
The university made its first foray into the world of online education in 1996 and currently offers many classes and several degrees completely online through its Distance Learning campus. In 2012, the main Rapid City location was moved to its current location on Mount Rushmore Rd. This location also houses the central administration offices of the university. In 2017, National American University purchased Henley-Putnam School of Strategic Security.
In 2018, Robert Gravely, a former NAU official, filed a lawsuit alleging that the school defrauded the United States government out of millions of dollars in a student aid program, unlawfully paid bonuses to university employees for recruiting students and rigged the accreditation for its medical assisting program. In September 2018, the Rapid City Journal detailed NAUH’s declining enrollment and financial difficulties. On September 28, 2018, NAUH received a delisting warning from NASDAQ. On December 28, 2018, the NAUH Board agreed to voluntarily delist from the NASDAQ. These factors, among others, raise substantial doubt regarding the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. On February 15, 2019, NAUH announced that Thomas Bickart as their new Chief Financial Officer.