A Corinthian School
The Financial Stakes Have Never Been Higher
For-profit schools in the post secondary sector of higher education offer students the opportunity to learn a trade in a hands-on vocational style of education. While providing a valuable service for students, proprietary schools in the United States are not uniformly regulated, leaving many students with major debt and no education to pay for it.
These schools are also known as technical schools, technical colleges, business colleges, career colleges and more. Many try to hide the fact that they are for-profit by shielding who owns them, buying "brands" in communities (i.e. a school name that has been around for a long time, some for over 100 years).
At a time when the financial stakes for American taxpayers are at their highest, these colleges are proliferating all over the country. In Ohio alone, there are currently 291 schools registered with the Ohio State Board of Career Colleges, up from 279 in 2007. Due to a new tax credit of up to $2,500 being offered to students starting in the tax year 2009, as well as new Pell Grant awards of up to $5,550 for the 2010 school year, the opportunity for profit at these for-profit schools has never been better. The students kick in the rest of the tuition that can be upwards of $25,000 per year at some schools, and most of the time, this additional money comes from federal student loans. It is no wonder that many of these schools are moving from private ownership to private equity groups.
Unfortunately, for the students, the federal Department of Education -- as well as the individual states’ regulating boards -- have allowed these schools to proliferate unchecked. A Google search of lawsuits tell the story of many students who enrolled in these type of schools only to be shocked when they did not get what they were promised. These sad stories run the gamut of lack of accreditation of individual programs to non-disclosure of lack of credit transferability due to specialized training. In my own daughter’s case with a Corinthian school in Florida -- the program was 30 hours shy of hours required to be licensed in another state (requiring a two year repeat of the same program). Currently in the news is a school in Michigan who was sued because they lack the proper authority to award promised Associate’s degrees to students. According to the story, this has been going on there since 2000. That would be funny if it wasn't so darn pitiful and made so many students victims.
An Example of What Is Wrong With the System
A fine example of the lack of regulation can be found by viewing the Ohio Board of Career Colleges 2008 annual report. That report reads more like a glowing brochure for the for-profit colleges than a required report from a governing board whose job it is to protect the student through regulation and oversight:
This Annual Report is testimony to the positive impact of Ohio’s career colleges and schools. The Board is proud of its role in the regulation of this important post-secondary sector. It feels strongly that, with their continued cooperation, Ohioans can remain assured that their investment in a career college or school is one on which they can depend.
It is ludicrous to imagine that out of 291 for-profit schools and over 70,000 students that there were only 58 complaints in the year 2008. There weren't even details to be sketchy about, other than the handy chart pictured below. For all we know, some of these complaints might even be multiple complaints from the same students. While the board seems to think that this means that there are no real complaints, the sad fact is that many students are afraid to complain. The report actually states that:
The number of total complaints received in FY 2008 is consistent with previous years and the complaints, for the most part, represented isolated problems between individual students and schools. Most complaints are normally resolved by achieving voluntary compliance from the schools. The nature of the student complaints, which were received in FY 2008, can be broken down into the following general headings:
|ALLEGATION||NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS|
Poor Quality of Education
Failure to Make Proper Refund
Unfair Administrative Policies
Financial Aid Problems
Involuntary Dismissal Issues
A Few More Complaints for the Board
During my own investigation of practices at Miami-Jacobs Career Colleges, I have been in contact with students from several different branch locations. While I have encouraged these students to complain to the Ohio Board of Career Colleges, they are all afraid of repercussions.
Here are some excerpts from actual emails:
“There are several students who are interested in your efforts, but are unable to act because they are also current students.”
“Although many are frustrated, most of the students left are so close to grad that they either do not want to deal with this, or just want to "push through" and get out before more changes occur.”
“What's worse is that they are not training me for my job. The (program) instructors are helping us and doing everything they can for us but it's gotten to the point to where I'm being scammed and ripped off.”
“Maybe you can understand that this is unethical because everyone else thinks they're doing me a favor letting me buy a degree from them.”
“I am a student at miami jacobs as i type, and am supposed to graduate in August. I have had so many problems with this school it is unbelievable. with teachers NOT qualified to teach our classes, clinical hours that are NOT being given to us, the PRICE of 22,000 dollars for this program. I am fed up and want this school to be repremended (sp) for the actions they are doing..or better yet not doing.”
“We were also misinformed of class schedules and times, being told our schedules would stay the same, and in fact, they were changed drastically.”
“Initially when the school changed hands, students weren't even informed, supposedly neither was the staff. We came back to school from a week-long break and there was a sign "Miami Jacobs" on the door! TWO WEEKS LATER - we were called to a meeting during our class time and informed by some poor scapegoat ( who has since been fired) that the school is now Miami Jacobs and that things would only change for the better. Since then, the place has a revolving door - like I said, admission and staff changes so much, students don't even know who to contact for concerns/questions. Not that anything gets answered anyway!”
“We have a clinical site in (another location) that we are currently at, which we had our first day … mind you I have to drive an hour to get there, arrive at 7:45 and NO INSTRUCTOR shows up… told us to go ahead and go home...So we had it again today.. Drove there, have to be there at 7, waited til 7:30..again no instructor shows up.”
“I am just so fed up with this school, the teachers and the price of all things. I graduate in august and I am nowhere confident that I would pass my boards.”
I even found a complaint at Google Maps for the Columbus location at 150 E Gay St located one block west of the offices of the Ohio Board of Career Colleges:
"...Instructor's and students alike are treated like they are 2 years old. It's very, very discouraging to the students and I know for a fact than many of the Columbus campus site students are looking elsewhere to finish out their studies. What a shame. Students that enjoyed going there are now so discouraged they are contemplating either transferring or dropping out until they can get into another school...I, for one, will not encourage others I know looking to obtain a higher education to attend Miami-Jacobs."
Some Suggestions for the Ohio Board of Career Colleges
While these excerpts show that most complaints go unreported, there are many ways to fix the system. First of all, according to complaint rules, there is only a six month window to address complaints with the board. Six months! That is not enough time for these students to issue complaints. Some of the above comments show that many students might be too intimidated to make the complaints while attending school. Is that why these schools get away with this stuff year after year?
I propose that there are enough dollars flowing into these schools that they could pay for investigators to come in on an annual basis to review the schools, interview students (who can speak without repercussions) and take the proper steps to ensure that the schools are operating up to par. These schools already pay the accreditation agencies to do just that, but that system is not working either -- and a topic for a whole other article.
In addition, all state regulating boards should be required to list summaries of pending and closed lawsuits (and the outcomes) on their websites. In a step further, if that school is affiliated with other schools out of state through an educational division such as Delta Career Education Systems or Corinthinan Colleges, those complaints and lawsuits should be listed as well. A student, in researching a school, should not have to use Google search and countless hours to find out the information that the state regulation boards should be providing to protect the student.
Ohio students may get a PDF file copy of the grievance form here.
Department of Education, Washington D.C.
Some Questions For the Department of Education
What kind of job is the federal Department of Education doing in policing these run away for-profit schools? Shouldn’t that federal agency be more vigilant in protecting the students that they are supposed to serve?
I propose that the Department of Education at their ed.gov website offer this same information in a convenient location to the student. This can be gleaned from the state boards who can very well report this information as it occurs to the Department. What is so difficult about this process and why isn’t it being done already? With the instaneous information processes we have today, there is no excuse.
Why is the Department of Education being so cavalier with our limited education dollars? When a school does not deliver the promised education to a student, not only is the student being defrauded, but so is the Department of Education and the very taxpayers who are providing those dollars. Why aren’t these schools being -- at the very least -- fined for this fraud? Most citizens who defraud the government end up with much, much worse.
For further proof of this insanity:
According to the Detroit Free Press website, on July 22, 2009, the Academy of Court Reporting, Clawson branch, agreed to pay out $32,000,000 to about 3,275 current and former students who were promised Associate's Degrees at the Michigan campus. Out of that amount, $7.8 million is in the form of tuition reimbursements.
The settlement also gives approximately 500 students who graduated from the program the ability to transfer those credits to Miller-Motte College in North Carolina toward a bachelor’s degree. The state of Michigan does not now and has never recognized the Academy of Court Reporting, a proprietary school, as a school who can issue Associate’s Degrees in that state. Even so, all the students were able to get federal tax dollars to spend at the school on tuition. How does something like this fly under the radar of the Department of Education for so long? Even more importantly, how are these schools allowed to still be in business and still raking in government dollars?
The Academy of Court Reporting (ACR) was purchased in August 2006 by Delta Career Education Systems, a subsidiary of Gryphon Investors, a $700 million private equity group. In the state of Ohio, while the Academy of Court Reporting is still operating under that name in Cleveland, the Akron, Cincinnati and Columbus locations are now operating under the Miami-Jacobs Career College brand. The Clawson, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania locations are currently still operating under the name of ACR.
The original Miami-Jacobs Career College, known until recently as the Miami-Jacobs Business College since 1904, is located in downtown Dayton, Ohio. For just under 100 years, that school was a family owned business owned by the Campbells and Harbottles of Dayton, Ohio.
It was sold in 2004 to Huron Capital Partners, a private equity group, for an undisclosed sum for their Delta Career Education Systems division. That division was subsequently sold to Gryphon Investors in 2006 for 11.1 times the amount of its original investment, according to press releases from Huron at the time of the sale. Crain’s Detroit Business, in an article published on May 22, 2006 by Tom Henderson reported that amount to be $115 million.
That mega price tag highlights the profitability of these proprietary schools that often times is at the expense of the student. The Academy of Court Reporting (ACR), brought into the Delta fold by Gryphon in August 2006, added up to a total of 30 schools and 12,000 students under the Delta umbrella. According to the Gryphon Investors website, Delta operates “under strong regional brand names, some with over 100+ years of history.”
Defrauding the Government
As the Michigan lawsuit claims, many of the students at these schools receive Title IV funds, also known as federal student aid, in the forms of grants and loans. By accepting federal dollars in a program where the students are not getting what they were promised (in this case, an Associate's Degree) the Academy of Court Reporting has defrauded the federal government. While the lawsuit has been settled for these particular students, I have seen no reports of sanctions for ACR or Delta Career Education Systems. They are being allowed to operate unchecked, raking in millions of federal tax dollars in the form of student loans and grants.
In many states, students who attend these for-profit schools are also eligible for state grants, including in the state of Ohio. Quite often, the majority of the students at some of these schools are underprivileged students. The particular breakdown of the student body for both the Academy of Court Reporting and Miami-Jacobs Career College branch locations can be obtained through the College Navigator page of the Department of Education website by clicking on the names of each herein.
And Another and Another...
Please Take A Moment to Answer
What's Wrong With This Picture?
In addition, as the mother of a student at that location who is enrolled in the Massage Therapy program, I also am unhappy with the “clinicals” in place for that program. Unlike other programs at the school in which the students go out to work in other settings, other than a few two-hour charity events doing chair massages, the students of the Massage Therapy program are required to perform all their “clinicals” at Serenity Spa. Serenity Spa is the for profit spa located within the school in which the students provide free labor to paying customers. To my knowledge, it is the only program at that location where the students are required to work for free to obtain their degrees. Tuition for that program is the same as for the other programs.
Sallie Mae Reston, VA.
That is not the only problem we have incurred with Miami-Jacobs Career College in Dayton, Ohio. During the enrollment process, due to false information from a question that I personally directed to a financial aid officer, my daughter became ineligible to receive federal financial aid for a period of time. When my daughter’s previous school loans showed a default and a subsequent sale back to the guarantor over four months and one new Sallie Mae federal loan disbursement later, the director of the department and a financial aid officer sat doodling while my very confused daughter was left to make phone calls on her own behalf.
While I eventually was able to straighten out their mess, with the kind assistance of Albert Lord, the CEO of Sallie Mae, who personally got involved, the school dropped the ball with us, not taking any blame for the situation. In fact, the original officer, who denied giving us the information was “at another location” and we were never given any access to her. During this situation, the financial aid director showed a shocking lack of knowledge about the financial aid process, the definitive go-to book called The Common Manual (put out by the nation’s student loan guarantors) and what the Master Promissory Note, the contract that every student who gets a federal loan must sign, contained. I decided that the only way to help my daughter was to educated myself, which I promptly did over a month’s period, learning everything I could about the school and the financial aid process.
I was promptly removed from being able to deal with the school situation, even though I was involved by having had asked the original question. After two meetings at school, where we both were basically accused of lying, and in which I demanded that they clean up their mess, I was sent a letter saying that I had “violated the student code of conduct” and asked not to return to the premises. They would only deal with my daughter, an independent student. Their only way of dealing with her was to give her a time limit to clear up the problem or be removed permanently from the school. Of course, this also entailed being required to pay back the new loans and grants that she had received in the four months that she was attending school, as well as giving up any future education due to the lack of eligibility for future loans and grants. Fortunately, Mr. Lord stepped in at the eleventh hour and my daughter’s future education was secured.
Is Anyone Listening?
These are all real problems that young and inexperienced students face daily at for-profit schools across the nation. While these students are old enough to sign away their lives to staggering debt in the form of students loans, they do not understand the differences between public colleges and universities and for-profit schools that often masquerade as old and respected institutions. This situation has got to change. Are there any legislators out there listening?
H C Palting from East Coast on August 20, 2014:
These schools bread and butter students are underprivileged students, low income students and some veterans. They like to avoid charging each student the same fees like non-profit schools do and instead inflate them to max out each student's loan package. When students inform themselves and choose schools whose credits actually transfer and can be built upon, these schools will shutter their doors. Some of these schools offerings can be found at respected and accredited community colleges for a FRACTION of the cost. Students need to inform themselves and choose wisely by avoiding for-profits. You are spot on here, awesome and useful hub.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on June 06, 2012:
Hoping that this new lawsuit will raise awareness for potential students everywhere and also that this school gets shut down. However, I doubt that will happen. That school has deep pockets.
carol45 on June 06, 2012:
*****CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT***** WILL BE FILED REAL SOON AGAINST A FOR PROFIT COLLEGE, THIS COLLEGE IS IN TN, SC, MS, EMAIL CAROLS402006@YAHOO.COM if you would like to know info on this college...
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on June 02, 2012:
Thanks SmarttChick! My own daughter went to school for medical assisting. Yes, she had a $10 an hour job, but finally got her massage therapy license.
SmarttChick on June 02, 2012:
These schools oversubscribe Phlebotomists as well as Medical Assistants, and too often charge 13-prices for a "degree" (I use the term loosely) that will net graduates less money per hour than they are making at their present job, and often with no benefits!
Ladies and gentlemen: Medical Assisting is about a $10/hour job, and often comes without benefits (not all doctor's offices offer benefits, though some larger clinics do).
Before spending a single PENNY or MINUTE of your time going to school for Phlebotomy, Medical Assisting or other similar entry-level job, run the numbers:
- how much are you making per hour now? (without student loans)
- how much is the AVERAGE person in this field making in your area (you will start lower as a new graduate). Go here if you're not sure: http://salary.monster.com
- are there SIMILAR jobs in the field that you can get training in for free (HINT: many states offer certified nursing assistant 'CNA' training for free and once you get your foot in the door in any healthcare area, Medical Assisting, Phlbeotomy... you can learn on the job without borrowing tens of thousands of dollars. A degree is not worth it if you make a few dollars more an hour, but have more loans than you can afford to pay (and they WILL come after you for the loans).
- check the local community college for both credit and non-credit programs. They are MUCH more affordable than any career/technical school -AND- they have the connections with the employers that can help you get a job.
Be Smartt! about these schools - they only want your money and don't give a rat's backside if you ever find a job!!! They are counting YOUR tuition dollars and raking up bonuses for recruiting another sucker/student into their school.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on June 01, 2012:
I absolutely think it is criminal to prey on the hopes and dreams of young students, many of whom are young mothers trying to get ahead for their families. I am glad that you acknowledged that these students (mostly female parents "of color")are not "welfare mamas," as so often portrayed. As I have long said, the most vunerable of our young people are being taken advantage of, promised the moon and getting the shaft by for-profits all over the country. President Obama tried several years ago to stop for-profits from charging so much to students for low paying jobs like phlebotomy and medical assisting. He wanted the tuition to be more in line with the starting wages, but it was knocked down by Congress who had been hit with intensive lobbying by the for-profit college industry. In the news, Obama just recently signed an executive order to rein in for-profits' predatory and deceptive enrollment practices towards veterans and their GI Bills.
Of course, many Republicans, who are generally all for for-profits from kindergarten charters all the way to post-secondary education, are not happy. This is what Republican Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs had to say: He called the order “an unnecessary attack on the free market,” saying it unfairly smeared the for-profit school system, according to the Washington Post (who owns a big for-profit chain, Kaplan). Not sure if our media should be owning businesses that create conflicts of interest in reporting, but anything goes in today's media, I suppose.
President Obama has seriously tried to rein in these for-profits and obviously knows what we know. Too bad the rest of Congress is in bed with them. Thank you for an insight into the working of a for-profit and how it is not just students, but also instructors at these schools who know what is really happening.
Tyler Buell on June 01, 2012:
Having been an instructor at Unitech Training Academy headquartered in Lafayette Louisiana, I feel terrible about what happened to a lot of my students. I am a retired RN and I taught ECG/Phlebotomy courses which they charged just under $10,000 for. I know that I gave them an excellent educational experience, so it's not that which was the problem. My guess is that there may be-at most-two or three hundred phlebotomists and ECG tech's employeed in the Lafayette area. That estimate may be high, but it's certainly not low!
I would graduate perhaps 50 students a year. There are at LEAST 4 other similar schools in Lafayette teaching the same thing and graduating about the same number of students more or less.
These schools are predicated upon, and represent themselves as, they way to get a good job. EVERYONE I taught was looking forward to graduating and going on to a career, not just a job flipping burgers like they had been. My typical student was a single female parent of color that was desperately trying to WORK! Much to the chagrin of those that would tell you that "those welfare mamma's just want to be lazy and collect government money" they were willing to work hard and take out BIG loans to dig themselves out of the revolving door of poverty.
Now back to the numbers. As you (anyone really) can see, a single year or two with that kind of output of qualified students created a glut of phlebotomists and ECG techs. How could all of those graduates find a job? They couldn't. After the first year when I began to run into my graduated students out in the community, very few of them were working in the field they had so dilligently studied with me. "I went back to my old job" was a frequent comment I encountered from a crestfallen visage. I felt terrible for them. They were actually much WORSE off than they had been. Now they had no more "career" than they had before. Now they had thousands of dollars in loans being called in. Now they REALLY felt like more a failure than they had. It was like a nightmare. When I came to work there they told me that "over 90% of our students get jobs in their chosen field". This was clearly a complete lie! I felt worse and worse trying to feel good about taking part in such a bait and switch charade. I tried to get them to offer extended classes to teach a course in dialysis (for which there was, and is, a need) but they would hear none of it. I even wrote all of the curriculum for such a class myself at a considerable output of time, research and energy, but to no avail. I did dialysis myself as a critical care nurse, so I was well qualified to teach the course. Didn't matter...
If there is no NEED for a given profession in the area, it's a travesty to allow people to believe that they have even a small chance of getting a job after school. I believe that it's unethical, immoral, and should be criminal to take people's money under such circumstances. What do you think?
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on May 21, 2012:
Sorry to hear about yet another case of a student who has been ripped off by these predators. Hope everything turns out for you. These stories are all too common.
firstname.lastname@example.org on May 21, 2012:
I was a student of a college like this. I am now in the process of speaking to lawyers and there is a class action lawsuit. I was lied to and munipulated in signing a contact. I was then instructed by teachers with no license. This place allowed be to be doubly enrolled in two colleges and I was told it was okay. They are praying on the lower income brackets to in my eyes steal financial aid from the government. There are three instructors and six students involved so far. The school told me all I wanted to hear but they where lies
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on May 03, 2012:
Email me and let me know what's going on. Connie997@aol.com
petition on May 03, 2012:
I need help with college scam in Dallas, Texas. Sanford Brown College.
Perrymandias from Georgia on April 24, 2012:
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on April 04, 2012:
Accreditation is where you will hear the most posturing, half-truths and downright lies from admission reps when looking at a for-profit school. Few people understand how addreditation works, what it means and how little it has to do with credit transfer. Accreditation by the professional association (the [state] Board of Nursing, for instance) is key. Please, prospective students, learn from others' mistakes and check out the accreditation thorougly before spending so much time and money for an "education" you can't use.
Jill Griffin on April 02, 2012:
I would like to make a complaint. I went to University of Phoenix for my bachelors Degree in Human Services. This school said these classes were all I needed to be sucessful. Come to find out most of Michigan jobs requiring a BSH requires a person to have a degree from an accredited school. UOP is not an accredited school for Human Services. I spent all this money and time to receive a degree I cannot use. I cannot use it to find a job or even to go further with my education because the lack of requirements. This is very fustrating this school should have said something. Now I have to start over and go though an accredited school so I can get a job.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on March 02, 2012:
Thanks for commenting and we definitely hope you keep in touch and let us know your success! I know several people who had severe problems with Miller-Motte. I also had an extremely riveting talk with an admissions rep, who when I asked a specific question about accreditation, disappeared and would never take my calls again. Hm...oh, well. I hope your job doesn't need a certification. I have always said -- and still do -- that hands-on vocational training is the best way for some students to learn. For-profits fill those shoes since public education has let us down severely in that area. I just want to see some strong regulation for these schools. It is one thing for corporations to run rampant who sell, say, blue jeans, but another for corporations who sell education to unsuspecting students. The actions of some, including Miller-Motte have made it imperative for more regulation to protect students and the tax paying public who primarily funds them.
I can't write a comment without getting on my high horse, but I do sincerely wish the best for you and hope that nothing changes your great attitude and that you have a great career. Good luck!
John on March 01, 2012:
I actually go to a Miller Motte Technical college in TN and the instructors in the trades programs are experienced in their trades and very knowledgeable of their subject area. Some of the instructors teach at state universities and at Miller Motte. I visited several trade schools in the area and nothing compared to Miller Motte I haft to say. I only know about the trades program but it gives me confidence when employers hire students from the school before they graduate. I am not promoting the school I am trying to say that you need to look into a school before you enroll. What certifications can they provide you with? What are the schools accreditation and how recognized is it in your future career? What is your expectations of them, and what they expect out of you while you attend. I agree their needs to be more regulation on the schools but not all of them are bad.
Students do take advantage of the loans and bury their self in debt but that happens at 4 year state colleges as well. I don't take the stipends hell I barely qualify for a minimal amount of Pell and I mean minimal. Don't take loans you don't need. Students at my school do this and I ask why why why!!! Then they complain when they graduate and they have all this debt and wonder why.
I just ran across and thought I would post. I am an actual student and I will save this thread and come back when I graduate to keep you updated with my experience. I hope it ends well. This is a good thread to aware people about schools that are no better than thieves. If you are a prospective student at one of these schools try to contact former students that have graduated on their experience. Most schools have social networking so you can contact a former student with a little work. Another thing find used books don't buy from the school unless its necessary.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on February 25, 2012:
I am never is surprised when hearing any kind of story about for-profit colleges, especially when it comes to the funding and admissions.
SmarttChick on February 25, 2012:
I recently found out that Ashford University (online scam school) advertises "Stipdends" for its students, and gives estimates of how much of a "stipend" they can get when they enroll in a program of study.
Here's the rub: the "stipend" they are living on is actually the students' student LOAN money, which will add to their debt and need to be repaid. In my opinion, couching this refund of student aid (which, by the way is required of ALL institutions accepting student loan funding), is disingenuous at best if not straight up fraud.
These schools have no shame
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on February 24, 2012:
Carol, this is not the first time I have heard of a school copying a book. It is illegal to copy a textbook (or any other book for that matter) to circumvent having to purchase them for the students. This should be reported to the book publisher and they can take those matters up with the school --and they will. Book publishers do not take that lightly. I hope you have contacted your state attorney general's office to file a consumer complaint, as well as the state board that the regulates for-profit colleges in your state.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on February 24, 2012:
It is a shame that our state legislatures are not regulating these for-profit colleges like they should. I hope you have filed a complaint with your state board that regulates for-profit colleges, the state attorney general's office and also contacted your state legislator. Without proper laws, this type of thing will go on into perpetuity. And they want to privatize grade schools (called charter schools) and make them for-profit!! They need to work on correcting the problems with the for-profit schools they have first!
carol45 on February 24, 2012:
I was told before signing up for this college that I would be going for my Associates Of Applied Science Degree in Massage Therapy, The Admission spoke person told me this, She told me that I would be going for 2 years, She made another date for me to come back because they had to run background checks and etc. before I could be accepted into their school, So my next appt, was Jan of 2012, at which time she sent me directly to the Finance Aid Person, the Finance aide person printed out this form for me to sign, she told me it was for them to get Federal Aide for me and any other financial grants, Loans, I asked her what kind of grants would be approved for me, she told me there were all kinds of free money she could get for me for going to their school, and whatever they couldn't get free, I would get a loan through the Stafford Loan Program, which I wouldn't have to pay back till 6 months after I graduated. so she just had me sign a paper and told me they would take care of the rest. She then told me we were done, but that the Admisiions person who had dealt with me needed to see me again, so I went and saw her, she informed me then that there had been some changes and I would not be going for The Associate Of Applied Science Degree, because they were no longer enrolling into that program, she said the "good news" was that I would be graduating in 9 months with a diploma in the field I chosen. They failed to inform me of the changes, and deceived me so I would sign paper work for loans and grants. I was then charged almost 2,000.00 for books and was told that I would not be getting all of them, when I asked if I would be refunded they told me no that the price of books were locked in and they could not change the price. So not right, not getting everything I paid for. and then no refund of the price for books the students weren't getting. RIPOFF... my Anatomy teacher had to copy pages out of his book to give us, I had talked with other students about what they were charged for going there and all of us had different prices??? and we all were taking the exact same thing.
Anonymous on February 22, 2012:
Carnegie Career College refused to mail me my "diploma" I do not owe them money, and the Dean of the school told me at one time that he would write me a letter of recommendation if I traded "oral sex favors" I can't believe I wasted 2 years of my life attending that school. THe education I received was diplorable. I am currently attending another school to REPEAT the classes I took at Carnegie, because I was promised that these courses transferred, then 2 months before I graduated they put a sign up saying they don't guarantee their courses transfer. Oh and Richard Ceroni, also promised me that 2 associates degrees equals a bachelors, which luckily I didn't believe or else I would have spend even more time wasted at that school!
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on February 22, 2012:
I plan to follow this one and see what the outcome is. In this federal lawsuit, it appears that it is an employee who is suing the school.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on February 22, 2012:
This lawsuit is 20 years old, 1992 in fact, according to the article. They've been sued far more recently than that like the above article shows, but for other things. I suspect you think that something similar might have happened in your situation and, of course, all things are possible in the world of for-profit colleges.
carol45 on February 22, 2012:
lawsuit against against Miller Motte in Federal court Please Read
Mike on February 15, 2012:
I am an employee at one of the largest for-profit universities and one of the biggest problems is recruitment of our veterans. At least a quarter to half of all veterans using the post 9/11 G.I bill are doing so as a source of income. Half of those that use the Post 9/11 do not even care about the education or lack of, rather just the paycheck! When most veterans figure out the pay structure of how they will receive their housing allowance, they are extremely upset. Most enrollment advisors will not disclose this information and advise the student to call the federal VA to figure it out when they all know the problem. I help students fill out their FAFSA forms and try to hide the fact that the school they're attending has a 16% graduation rate! 84 out of 100 students will not graduate!! That is alarming! It is ashame that these for-profit schools take advantage of our veterans! This school is spending a lot of money on retention specialits! That is essentially what I do.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on January 26, 2012:
I know that some of the practical nursing students at Miami-Jacobs in Dayton, Ohio, would like to have a class action suit. I am not sure where that stands right now. There is a lawsuit going on at Lamson by surgical tech students, very similar to the one at Miami Jacobs in which the 7 surgical tech students ended up in arbitration (due to a clause in the enrollment agreement) that 6 of them ended up getting some money back but the whole details have not been disclosed. Both schools are Delta Career Education schools, but these types of problems are so common, that I am sure there are many out there. The good news is that I am seeing more and more media attention about for-profits than I was just a few years ago. That is always a pre-cursor to change. I believe in vocational type education and all I am looking for is some regulation, proper disclosures and value for the student's (and the taxpayer's) dollar.
Greg Daniels on January 26, 2012:
I was hired at a for profit "college" that went out of business a few years ago. I was thrilled when I started, but it turned sour very quickly. Most of the students were not very "studious...." some didn't even complete their geds and were in trouble with the law. I remember the head of general studies during my interview. I let her know that math was not my strongsuit. she said, "just stay a chapter ahead of them, and you'll be fine..."
Do you know of any class action suits that are working for people who are in debt for their certificate that is not worth the paper it is printed on?
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on January 20, 2012:
What is it going to take to get Washington to look to the people's welfare instead of corporate lobbyists? I guess it is going to have to be a student loan debacle. That is when everyone is going to blame it on Obama, instead of where it belongs, in Congress. I wish we could wipe the whole Capital clean and start over.
SmarttChick on January 19, 2012:
Senator Harkin's HELP committee has been trying to put some regulations in place but the Career College Association has deep pockets (thanks to all those expensive degrees) and has lobbied Congress HEAVILY to back off some of the more stringent regulations that would hold the schools accountable for selling CRAP disguised as college.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on January 19, 2012:
Yes, if that happens and the loans dry up, it will be very difficult for students to get any education at all. We can only blame Congress for this. Make sure that the students at for-profits are getting a quality education so they can pay their loans. Put some regulations in place, dammit!
SmarttChick on January 19, 2012:
Some people believe that the student loan industry will be the next "bubble" to burst and that it has wider implications (and more pain) than the housing bubble...
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on January 18, 2012:
Thank you so much for your comments, SmarttChick. Again, I love it when previous employees comment. It helps to validate the articles. I have said before, and really believe that our public education system has failed us in the area of vocational education both in high school and in higher education. Students need skills to get gainful employment, yet most students who come out of high school do not even know how to balance a checkbook. These students need useful skills. Being able to recite the Gettysburg Address, the list of US Presidents or the Civil War chronological timeline from memory will get the student a job at the local 7/11 or McDonald's (maybe) and nothing more.
Many students need a more hands-on approach to learning. I am at a community college right now -- three or four class requirements away from an Associates in Art degree which will get me....a job at the local 7/11 or McDonald's. The humanities classes, the biology class that I am taking now, none of those are going to get me too far. The only marketable class I've had is a course in Microsoft Word and Excel. Fortunately, I have what many students do not, a talent in writing (and a Florida real estate license). With those skills, I think I can ultimately eke out a living, even without going for the bachelor's, though I plan to (Mass Communications). I am 52 years old, so my career doesn't stretch out before me for so many years as the typcial college student's, though it appears that workers my age will work a lot longer than the past few generations have had to.
I seriously think that we need to rethink how we can get students the skills they need to be employable, especially today when college graduates are having a hard time finding employment and so many middle aged people are losing high paying jobs with no chance of replacing them with similar income. These people are just ripe pluckings for for-profit colleges. In three years, the enrollment at for-profits in the state of Ohio has gone from just over 70,000 students in 2008 to 96,000 in 2010. These are scary statistics for such an unregulated industry. Is this going to be the cause of the next loan collapse?
SmarttChick on January 17, 2012:
p.s. almost without exception, all the programs offered at these overpriced institutions can be taken at your local/regional public community college for a FRACTION of the cost, and where the programs are ACCREDITED and recognized, and where you will get appropriate and relevant clinical experience in businesses and organizations that HIRE the program grads.
The catch? Sometimes you will have to wait for classes, so your 2 year degree may take you 3 years, but trust me on this one: it's worth the wait...
SmarttChick on January 17, 2012:
Thank you for this hub! I have taught in public community colleges, research universities and for-profit schools and so I have had a FRONT ROW seat on the way it should be as well as the poor, poor substitute that too many for-profits offer to students. I have witnessed the weak curiculum, unprepared students and high costs.
I have long decried the pick-pocketing of students and parents by for-profits who will not bat an eyelash when charging upward of $30,000 for a "degree" that will lead to a job paying less than $10/hour (and often a job you can get without spending that kind of money!)
Buyer beware! Many of these institutions are interested in your social security number (i.e. access to Pell Grants and student loan money) and not much else.
I am most offended by those schools who admit unprepared students and hint strongly that they will be able to land a professional job once they get that degree, but in more than 3 years in that sector (for-profit), I saw very few students who were going to ever see that dream materialize because at the end of the 2 or 4 years, they were still unable to write coherently, think critically and had very few (if any) marketable skills. Just having a piece of paper that says "GRADUATE" is no longer good enough in this economy. You need to have skills, be able to critically think, problem solve and write in a manner that does not resemble a high school note passed between friends (sigh). Many of the students I saw in my time with a for-profit could never read a report and write about what they had read. It just didn't compute for them, and yet they believe that they will graduate and be annointed the Director of some department in a company (good luck with that).
Student loans don't magically go away. They will garnish your social security to get it paid back, so if you borrow $50,000+ to be a $9/hour medical assistant, and can't afford the $500+/month payments, you are basically screwed ...but these school don't tell you that when they are sweet-talking you into their enrollment cattle call.
I'm ranting (sorry). This needs to be discussed loudly, and often. Thank you for your write up!!!
((p.s. here's an article that we should all share with everyone we know: http://www.edtrust.org/sites/edtrust.org/files/pub... ))
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on January 16, 2012:
All viewpoints are welcome here, but I certainly cannot agree that career schools are being held to a higher standard. It appears that you are an employee of Delta Career Education Company, a contracted provider of some service there,say....public relations or an employee/board member of the Ohio Board of Career Colleges....or their quasi board member sidekicks, the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools (OACCS). That's no problem, we appreciate the opportunity to debate your comment.
First and foremost, you are correct. Students do need to learn which questions to ask. It should not be my job to teach those potential students which questions to ask. The school in question should be required BY LAW to voluntarily disclose all pertinent information that might affect the student's decision to enroll. You seem to forget that these students are often inexperienced young people who have never dealt with, or more shame, been taught anything about the real world and how to navigate it in high school. Many of the other students are poor, many single mothers and not savvy in the world of big business - which is the category for-profit schools fall into. That is, big biz and big profits.
You are also correct that it is the school's responsibility to give the student the best education possible. That includes proper accreditation at program completion so that the student can utilize that quality education, which seems to be a problem for some programs at Delta schools, including Miami-Jacobs, who just lost a lawsuit to 7 surgical tech students and now, Lamson College students in Arizona are having the same problem. The respiratory therapy program at Miami-Jacobs was shut down in ate 2010 its accreditation association, CoARC, leaving many repiratory therapy graduates with a big nothing. What hospital wants to hire a graduate of a sub-standard program?
Speaking of sub-standard programs, the only reason that Miami-Jacobs practical nursing program is still there is because of the judge you mentioned, not because of the HIGH STANDARD of the program. The program which started in 2006 has YET to receive full approval from the Ohio Board of Nursing and in fact, has been a comedy of errors, with program directors coming and going, and too much to go into here. But this is where it can be found: http://www.nursing.ohio.gov/PDFS/education/CA/Miam... In spite of the fact that the program couldn’t get approval, not because of time, but because the program didn’t meet board standards, Miami-Jacobs was applying for, and receiving approval by the Ohio Board of Career Colleges for the nursing program to expand to other locations. So much for informing the students, this is what Miami-Jacob’s website accreditation page says about the nursing program: “The Ohio Board of Nursing granted the Practical Nursing program at Miami-Jacobs Career College Conditional Approval. Conditional Approval is the standard approval level for all new Nursing programs.” Yes, that is true....but Miami-Jacob’s program is NOT NEW. It is 5 years old and cannot get full approval because it is NOT HIGH STANDARD, it is SUB-STANDARD. This is wrong to be able to post this on a college website, which is misleading to young inexperienced students at the least, and I will stand on previous statements and, again, state my opinion that the statement is FRAUDULENT. Come back when you are truly informed and can speak the truth.
Informed Citizen on January 15, 2012:
I have done some of my own research on these institutions. While I believe that your points on students being informed are completely valid, the school must be forthcoming with the information. Many of the questions you posed above can be answered within the literature, enrollment agreements, and by asking the right questions. I completely agree the questions are valid, but these schools, including those run by Delta Career Education, will and have to answer these questions, if asked. Our job in the community is informing students what the right questions to ask are. How are the schools to know what the students do or don't know!
As a graduate of a 4-year private university, where tuition for just ONE year is greater than an entire associate’s degree at these schools, I knew what I was getting into when I began. It is the schools responsibility to give you the best education possible, but the students also have the responsibility to make the most out of their education. One of the complaints here is that graduates of these programs have trouble with jobs, but how can we extend the entire responsibility of this to the school? What onus is on the student? Where I graduated from, "placement rate," which isn't generally officially tracked or published at private universities, is assisted by the school but is not considered the ultimate responsibility of the school either. If a student isn't placed at a 4-year university, there is no repercussion to the school; however, many believe these career schools are entirely responsible for finding a job for the graduate.
To comment about some of the other issues brought up, a judge in the state of Ohio ruled that the Ohio Board of Nursing mishandled the revocation of approval for the Miami-Jacobs nursing program. Also, when Delta Career Education acquired the Academy of Court Reporting, it appears they evaluated which campuses were serving students well and which ones were not. According to the ACR website, campuses described in previous comments (Clawson and Pittsburgh) are no longer accepting students. The campus in Akron appears to already be closed. Now, while this does show that some schools have poor administration, there are others trying to make a difference and benefit the students. Delta Career Education did at least allow the current students of these previously poorly run schools to finish their degree, because situations would have been even worse for the students if they just got removed. It is sad what happens to some of these students, but again, much could have been prevented if they were properly educated and informed ahead of time, responsibilities of the previous ACR administration.
So, while I do believe there is merit to much of what is discussed, we are letting students and society off easy when it comes to personal responsibility. The real issue is that clientele of these colleges are generally lacking the personal experience to know their personal responsibilities versus that of society to them. Due to this fact, career schools are being held to a higher standard than that of other educational establishments in regards to things that otherwise are considered the responsibility of the student.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on January 11, 2012:
Thanks, Amy! Wow! I love it when people who are in the know can validate my concerns with for-profits in general and Miami-Jacobs and Delta Career Education Corporation in particular. Nothing you have said surprises me, of course. I have several students from the Akron campus as Facebook friends, so I will try to pass this on to them. However, just like the school knows, once students get away from the pressure and drama, usually they just want to forget about it and move on. I recently received an email from an attorney who is suing Lamson in Arizona over accreditation on behalf of some surigal tech students there. Lamson is the oldest "continuing" college in Arizona, also currently owned by Delta Career Education. These for-profits buy up old schools with good reputations so that unsuspecting students have no idea that many programs are not up to par and, as we know, some may not even be properly accredited. When are our legislators going to get their hands out of the pockets of for-profits and their lobbyists and protect the students and taxpayer dollars in this country?
You know what the funny part is? The Ohio Board of Career Colleges, now "regulating" colleges in the state of Ohio for over 95,000 students for 2010, the last year we have data on. This is up over 25,000 students from 2008, which just highlights the massive money to be made in this industry....and industry it is. Education comes second after profits. Anyway, according to the 2010 Annual Report by the Ohio Board of Career Colleges there was only 73 complaints. The report thinks this means all is peachy in the for-profit sector, but we know better. If there are only 73 complaints out of 96,000 students, we have a bigger problem than we think. That doesn't even make sense! Throw the board out and start over! The foxes are in the hen house.
Amy C. on January 10, 2012:
I worked for Miami Jacobs Akron Ohio, formerly the Academy of Court Reporting. *sigh* I have no words to express the amount of mismanagement/deceit/unprofessional/unethical/poor business practices/out right lies and behind the scenes propaganda this company spewed from it's posterior. If I even began to express the entire story, it would be longer than this website. Every last student from the Akron campus should sue the living bejesus out of that company. Each and every student from my time there (October '08- March of '09) They enrolled students in programs that were not accredited, and they KNEW it was not accredited. They would tell the students one thing, but then turn around behind their backs and stab them for their tuition. There were so many employees in that company that had knock down drag out fights with administration about the conditions the students were being subjected to, their answer to all of this? A mass firing in March of '09. Any teacher or office employee who had previously voiced concerns on behalf of the students were terminated. As much as some of us fought against the unfair treatment the students were receiving, we also were receiving the same poor treatment. When I was hired I was told I would work one Saturday a month (I was a single mother at the time) and I had TWO Saturday's off in my entire employment. I was told I would have two weeks vacation at my hire date. I had NO vacation until after a full year and then it was only one week that was accrued so the entire week wouldn't appear until the end of your second year. I purchased long and short term insurance for leaves of absence from work. I continued to make those payments after my termination (the health portion) and later when I tried to collect that due to a massive heart surgery... they never paid the premiums, I had no insurance. When I was hired I was told I would have one hour lunch break, and two fifteen minute breaks in the day, they later took the breaks away because we were "talking to students outside the school, and that was against their policy" We were told we could take our lunch break whenever we wanted as long as our department was covered, once the behind the scenes meetings started taking place, we were told we no longer could take lunches together because it was causing "issues" ...they just didn't want us comparing notes on what was said by our management teams. Admission reps were paid commission for student enrollment, when calls came in they were to be on a rotation, the receptionist was told to give all the "valid" inquiry calls to the department manager. Then when our enrollment numbers were down, it was of course our responsibility. I really could go on for days about the unprofessional and unethical issues in that black hole, but it's redundant with all the other comments you have about the worst job I've ever held in my adult life. If anyone from the Akron Campus would like to get ahold of me to organize a lawsuit, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com I really feel students should sue this company, and I would be more than happy to provide any information they may need for this.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on November 24, 2011:
Thank you for your kind comments. I also have a blog at www.whyitmatters.com that I have had amazing response to on the local level. There will never be enough oversight for these schools until Congress gets their hands out of the pockets of corporations and starts working for the people who hired them. For-profits are big, big biz. Until they are fixed on the post-secondary level, can you imagine how it would be if the right got their way and made primary schools for-profit? We could start not giving the children an education in kindergarten,
careereducationTN on November 22, 2011:
This was AN EXTREMELY interesting read for me, as I have chosen to represent career colleges in Tennessee for the past 4 years. I do NOT disagree with a lot of what I have read today. Thanks for organizing efforts, Connie Smith. You should be commended---and I say that with 100% commitment because the career college/proprietary college model needs some serious oversight.
With that being said, my fiance' is a graduate of a local career college and is working in her first position as a Registered Dental Assistant. She is NOT a graduate of a school that I represent (past or present) and we were NOT happy with the complete lack of career placement assistance. It is, in fact, tough to get REAL financial aid attention after you enroll in a technical/career college---but try to get ANY attention for your financial aid concerns at a larger state school (similar to my experience at the largest state school in Tennessee).
There are a lot of disenfranchised current and former students of career/technical colleges. That is NOT up for discussion. I see these scenarios on a daily basis, and their concerns are legitimate.
Additionally, I wanted to contribute to this thread by reminding each of us that WITH PROPER OVERSIGHT career/technical colleges can serve an important role in education. That will NOT happen anytime soon. Please please keep up the great work, Connie Smith, CB from Tennessee
Cynnamon Brooks on May 19, 2011:
I gave up attending Carnegie Career College, (formerly Carnegie Institute of Integrative Medicine......laughable grasp at recognition and legitimacy, I know,) and I can not explain the relief in mere words. I fear no recourse from them, as they are incompetent at everything but fraud. As a former student, my schedule was changed constantly and without warning, I was sexually harassed as were several other female students AND DRUG COUNSELING CLIENTS! I was given line item bills with over $2500 in "miscellaneous expenses"............on a line item bill. I would swear to all of this in a court of law, and provide whatever documentation that I personally have. I have no personally have novendetta against against this waste of an " institution", but per law, they should be shut down. Current students are threatened not only with expulsion for asking simple questions, but also with police intervention if financial aid questions come up. Does that seem fishy? I attended and received degrees from two other REAL COLLEGES, and neither of them were this screwy. My advice to anyone thinking that a career change is needed and that more education is the answer, do you' re research. I didn't.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on March 17, 2011:
I am happy to do it. I wish I had more time to spend on this because I do know that I have made a difference. I get mail all the time from students that have been burned by Delta Career Education Corp, who runs ACR. In fact, several of my Facebook friends are former ACR students from the Akron location. They were burned also. I am starting to receive more mail from Miller-Motte students, another chain owned by Delta. It seems like they operate just like Miami-Jacobs Career College, the school that got me started on this advocacy. When I started, my thought was that, if I could just let one potential student know about MJCC before they spent too much time and money for too little education, I would be doing a good thing. My mail tells me that I have succeeded many times over, so all my time and effort have not been wasted.
I just wish more former educators at these schools would speak up and really give us the behind-the-scenes reality of Delta's chain of schools. Anyone is welcome to write me directly at Connie997@aol.com As always, I guarantee confidentiality.
Anonymous on March 16, 2011:
I worked at the Academy of Court Reporting & Technology (Cleveland, OH) in the Admissions Department and lasted 2 weeks. The school is such a scam. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing the harm I would be doing to prospective students by setting them up for failure, massive amounts of debt and not to mention "degrees" that are not honored by employers or other schools. Individuals looking for quicker routes to a degree, do yourselves a favor and attend a community college. Your education will be better and more affordable, not to mention that if in the future you decide to further your education your credits would transfer. As a firm believer in education and an individual whose passion is to help others achieve their educational and career goals, my conscience would not have been at peace had I remained there. Those who do not want to take my word, please do me a favor and research the school. ALL of their campuses have gotten shut down except for this one. Hmmmm I wonder why? Their Clawson campus was also sued for millions.
Connie, thanks for standing up and speaking out against this huge problem with for-profit schools. Many innocent people have been betrayed by them and unless more individuals start speaking up, more will become victims of their lies.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on February 16, 2011:
So sorry to hear that you have been screwed over by yet another unscrupulous for-profit school. That is why I will never give up until the government finally starts to make sure that the education received is worth the outrageous sums that the student owes at the end of the program. You are correct, it is legalized crime...against the student and the taxpayers, who subsidize these schools with billions of dollars of grants and loans. It is shameful.
emt2399 from Virginia on February 16, 2011:
I am an unemployed mother of 2 with $40K in student loan debt because of one of these programs in VA. I have a paper that says I have an AOS in Therapeutic Massage...It was a very expensive piece of paper! I have been asked many times if an AOS in Massage even exisits??? This is legalized crime... targeting people who only want to better themselves and be more successful for their families.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on February 15, 2011:
Just today, there was an article about the Kentucky legislature working on a new bill to better regulate for-profit colleges in that state. It is a slow process, but things are happening. I am proud of the (very small) way that I have helped to educate potential students of some of the possible pitfalls of for-profit colleges and the need for better regulation. In fact, I have several blogs at www.whyitmatters.org about a specific school (Miami-Jacobs in Dayton, Ohio) and know that I have made a small difference, though their poor program curriculums have done most of the job for me, along with their poor business practices. I will never give up.
guest on February 15, 2011:
Don't give up they are doing people a disservice.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on January 14, 2011:
I have heard so many hateful stories, Linda. It is a shame. The problem is with the state regulatory boards who oversee the schools. In the state of Ohio, the board is right up the butt of the TRADE GROUP, the Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools, the very group that they are supposed to be regulating...talk about a conflict of interest. It is pathetic. Until these schools are properly regulated, we are going to keep hearing these stories. One good thing is that the federal government is now originating the federal student loans through the Direct Loan program. Sallie Mae and others will continue to service the loans, but it will be easier for people, like your son, to be able to reduce the amount of payment in certain situations. Obama tried last year to change the law so that students attending for-profit schools could not receive loans for programs that cost an outrageous amount compared to the average salary upon graduation. Of course, it was struck down. All of the for-profit schools got their big guns out, the owner of Kaplan personally flew in his private jet to Washington, to protest this move. Of course, Congress caved and so, the students are still the losers. It will help to contact your Congressman with your story and let them know how for-profit colleges have affected your son's life.
linda on January 14, 2011:
I found your article very informing. My adult son went to the Academy of Court Reporting in 2004 part time for a period of 2 and 1/2 yrs. The cost of this useless training lebthim in debt in the amount of $24,000. He is an extremely gullible person being diagnosed as a child as ADHD and now at 32 being diagnosed as bipolar. How he will ever get this albatross from his neck is beyond me. He lives at home with us and we are harassed constantly by debt collection agencies. People have committed suicide over a lot less stressful situations that this debt has placed my son in. We have sought legal advise and have been told nothing can be done and these debts follow you to your grave. What a waste, scam and a fraud!
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on December 11, 2010:
I have updated this website with some IMPORTANT additional information about career college accreditation. It is located between the asterisks in bold letter -- you can't miss it.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on December 05, 2010:
This is the problem, Jenny. It is so widespread! Legislators know this. They have to be inundated with complaints, yet this last session, they had an opportunity to make some much needed changes by a bill that would have nipped the federal loan and grant money in the bud for those schools who overcharge based on what a student might expect to earn. Of course, it was knocked down "for this year" after the owner of Kaplan flew into Washington on his private jet several times and all the lobbyists hired by the Career College Association (trade association who has since changed their name to Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities -- APSCU). There is much needed legislation at for-profit colleges all over the country and until we do something about it and STOP our legislators from catering to big biz instead of the people, we just have to plug along educating the people so, that hopefully, our future students can make the right decisions before it is too late. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and thanks also for taking the time to post.
Jenny Miller on December 05, 2010:
I attended Carnegie Institute of Integrative Medicine, now known as Carnegie Career College. I can tell you that students are definitely too afraid of retribution to file formal complaints. After attending 2 state universities, I have to say that I am truly and sincerely shocked that the doors to this "school" have not been closed. Students are threatened with expulsion if they inquire as to what is done with their financial aide monies! Loan checks are actually dispersed at the END of the term!! No exaggeration. But what can they do if they wish to finish their education? You must identify yourself to file a complaint for an investigation to be launched, and few can afford the repercussions from the spiteful staff. The books that the school provides are half plagiarized from Wikipedia! Unqualified students are the instructors! By the time students realize the scam, all they want to do is get the diploma and run, and many just give up. I understand that, if certain channels are not followed, agencies would be inundated with false vindictive complaints over trivial matters, but their must be a way to have an investigation launched without putting students at risk of losing what they've worked so hard for. It's disheartening that Carnegie Career College is just the tip of a rather large iceberg of fraudulent for-profit and non-profit schools.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on August 02, 2010:
Please do me a great, great favor and either call me 727-638-2178 or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org I really need to speak with you.
NO FUTURE on August 02, 2010:
i once provided care for you as a respiratory therapist at a local hospital i was a recent grad from miami jacobs and i agreed with everything you were saying about the school i know first hand how they make promises of a great future while they push you deeper in debt i was unemployed,broke, and on food stamps while i was at miami jacobs, the school made it sound so wonderful how my life would change once i graduated, i would finally be able to buy a car which for a almost 40 year old single mother of 2 with health problems and who has been homeless it sounded like winning the lotto i owed over 26,000 by the time i graduated, i found a job with a hospital miami jacobs paid for us to do clinicals at even though were not suppose to talk about pay i found out our students got paid less then graduates from other schools, i also found out that i did not have the skills to save a life or provide care to a patient, i eventually lost my job, i didn't learn anything anything at miami jacobs i just paid for a degree, i am now back on food stamps and living with my mom so me and my kids arent homeless again, miami jacobs changed my life because i'm now so in debt i plan to file bankrupt, i have no confidence in myself and i'm sure if it weren't for my kids i would have given up and committed suicide by now, my oldest son is 18 and i dreamed of being able to give him a wonderful senior year of high school, I WOULD NEVER WISH MY SITUATION ON SOMEONE ELSE, DO NOT ATTEND THIS SCHOOL
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on July 27, 2010:
I am not familiar with all state laws, of course, but in Ohio, one would file a complaint with the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools. One can also file a complaint with the attorney general (in Ohio, for sure) as students who pay at a for-profit are considered consumers and it is coverered there as well. Right now, in the state of Ohio, several state representatives are involving themselves as well, so one can also go to the legislature to, hopefully, have some much needed changes made.
WildIris on July 27, 2010:
So what does a student do if they find themselves entangled in the nightmare of a for profit vocational school?
Where and to whom do these young people address their complaint?
University of Phoenix Online 2008 Graduate on June 16, 2010:
I can honestly say that for-profit colleges and universities around the globe operate only to make a buck. These learning institutions don't give a damn about the quality of education you receive.
I completed the Bachelor's of Science in Information Technology program with the University of Phoenix Online in July 2008 and as of June 2010, I am still unemployed.
What's funny is, my Windows Networking instructor, Mr. Paul Rouk, did not want to help me at all on my individual assignments. I was getting straight B's on all my individual assignments and during the last week of class, Mr. Paul Rouk decided to go on a "vacation" and not show up in the online classroom. After several complaints in emails and classroom postings, I passed Mr. Paul Rouk's class with an A-, a grade I should not have received.
For more fraud on the University of Phoenix, please visit my hubpages:
Stay away from for-profit colleges!
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on May 19, 2010:
This is the first horror story about University of Phoenix that I have heard. Truthfully, I am not really sure whose jurisdiction an online school falls under in any given state. However, after your senator, I would suggest the state attorney general's office that you are in, as well as a state board of education that handles career colleges.
This is the kind of stuff that we read about, but the laws are not up to par on. We need to get our legislatures on the ball to protect the for-profit college students who are spending a bundle on their educations, but not always getting the value for their money. It is shameful.
JenniSchue on May 19, 2010:
I was enrolled in the wrong degree program at U of P online, which I did not fgure out until 6 months into the classes when I thought it was weird that none of my classes were related in any way at all to my degree which was to be Psychology, they told me I could change to Psych. IF I paid them $3,000.00 upfront in full, Financially speaking there was no way I could do that. Now, they have added a class without telling me and say I cannot do anything about because they have it ON THEIR END OF THE COMPUTER, but neglected to put it on mine until AFTER I ASKED ABOUT IT, now they tell me I have to pay for all this extra stuff out of pocket because I have utilized all financial aid that was apparently put on the application. I did not know AT ANY TIME WHAT-SO-EVER until April of this year about this class. The woman from the school even actually told me, word for word from her own mouth that "We don't ever put all of the classes on a students account where they can see it because they might decide to quit at some point." Ok, WHAT?! In the same breath this gal admits that they did not even have it on the record until 2 months ago and that, they knew I would be given that class BUT NEVER TOLD ME! BUT! They sure can tell me what I owe them and that "YOU need US Jennifer!. You need us to get a job, you need us to graduate, YOU NEED US!" No. No, I don't. Now, I go to my Senator and tell her my story and that I am out $13,000.00 for a degree that isn't even relevant to my career choice!!
jonah rosenthal on April 08, 2010:
I am a former admissions rep for miller-motte college in wilmington, nc. I started working at the school thinking I was going to help people make a better life for themselves, only to find out everything you have said in this blog is true. Miller-Motte college, like many other technical schools, is owned by Delta Career Education Corporation. I quit my job because I couldn't do it anymore, I was forced to lie to students about everything from financial aid fraud, graduation rates, job placement, accredidation, transferrability of credits, length of programs, tuition rates, cheating on admissions testings, everything I am currently fighting them for unemployment as they have contested my claims and they were especially upset when I filed a lengthy formal complaint with ACICS. This corporation is evil and takes advantage of people when they are most vulnerable. All of the employees are not bad, some just need a paycheck, but if you meet an admissions rep who has worked at one of these for profit schools for very long at all then you will know what kind of moral consciouce they have. They are sales reps and that is all they are, selling you tuition and a lot of future debt for a piece of paper that will be almost useless, just like when you go into radio shack and they sell you a tv when you came in for batteries, except for then the tv would actually at least work, they are on a much more immoral scale because they are messing with people's lives and futures. If anyone needs any advice or has questions feel free to write me.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on April 02, 2010:
GEE, John....er, I mean Crazy....I see that you have found me here as well. LOL Not only me, but some of the other 127,000 writers on this site ACTUALLY enjoy writing and doing RESEARCH. Indeed, for me, it adds so much fulfillment TO my life that I am able to do my part by reporting on the shenanigans of the administration of Miami-Jacobs and the OHIO BOARD OF CAREER COLLEGES. Of course, the administration of Miami-Jacobs Career College and JOHN WARE of the Ohio Board of Career Colleges are bringing themselves down. They do not need help from me LOL.
These jokers are not intelligent enough to run this school, much less one joker who runs the Ohio Board of Career Colleges as the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
This is shameful and SUCH a disservice to the students in the state of Ohio who attend Career Colleges. Yes, folks, the FOX is guarding the hen house.
Thank goodness that I do not have a life (or a REAL JOB)LOL. I have vowed not to stop until all the good citizens of the state of Ohio are made aware of the incompetence of the Ohio Board of Career Colleges in regulating these schools, especially the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
So....Crazy....whether your are one of the administrators on that sinking ship called Miami-Jacobs Career College or whether you are who I suspect you are....you need to get A NEW JOB. Your old one is NOT going to be around much longer!
Crazy! on March 30, 2010:
Do you have a real job?? Way too much time invested in this for someone who is a real estate agent whose not even working! You need a life! Sounds to me like your looking for a suit to support yourself nicely.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on March 11, 2010:
To see some real comments that are eye-openers, please check this one out: http://www.whyitmatters.org/2009/04/miami-jacobs-c...
As far as the board goes, the Ohio Board of Career Colleges came in last Friday to investigate multiple complaints in the Practical Nursing program at the Dayton campus. Do not worry, the board will see these comments and even better, the ones at the other site. As for yourself, if you wanted to email these comments, you would copy the article and comments by clicking on the "edit" tab in your upper left hand corner of your computer. You highlight the text you want to send and then right-click on "copy." You then would open up your email site, start an email using the Ohio Career Colleges email address (see links above) and then go back to the edit tab and click "paste."
Thanks for commenting and btw, we would love to hear your story.
just found this site on March 09, 2010:
"burned by mjcc" asked if there was a way to send these comments to the boards and I would like to know that also,I'm not real computer savvy otherwise, if it's possible, I would do it,maybe someone could tell me how to do it?
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on March 07, 2010:
Thanks for leaving comments, Annoyed and Burned. I am currently working fervently on research about the nursing program and there are several very interesting developments happening within the nursing program currently at the Dayton campus. I am excited to be able to bring that to the attention of the public within the next day or two at hubpages.com. I am still doing some research, but if anyone has anything at all that will help me, feel free to contact me. My contact information is at www.whyitmatters.org under the Miami-Jacobs blog.
Even though Miami-Jacobs is a small college in Dayton Ohio, this should be required reading for all prospective students everywhere in the US as the company that owns Miami-Jacobs actually operates in many states: Miller-Motte (North Carolina, Virginia and several others) Lamson (Texas, Arizona) and on and on (currently 30 schools and 12,000 students). Also, there are other companies running just like this one out there, like Corinthian Colleges (Everest University, Florida Metropolitan University...) who are taking student money in the form of government loans, grants, credit cards -- any way they can get it, yet many of these students aren't getting what they paid for: an education to help pay off those college loans and a better future for themselves and their families.
burned by miami jacobs on March 03, 2010:
Connie,is there anyway to send these responses to the boards,it would really be interesting ti see their response if you could.
annoyed! on February 26, 2010:
Great article! It is all so true! I am currently enrolled in the Nursing program at Miami Jacobs. Things are definitely crazy there! There are many of students in my class that feel they have been lied to about the schedule.We feel that the admissions team lie and tell you what you want to hear to enroll, just so they can steal your money! We are a night class and our next set of classes were to start at 2pm when we were told classes would never start before 5pm. Many have lost there jobs because of the schedule. We had less than a weeks notice of the schedule change. I brought this to the dean's attention and at first she said there was nothing they could do for us but they would fix it for future students.They also accused us of lying, and we said we were losing our jobs, all they said were see career services. They don't want to help us succeed, they just want our money. How is that fair to us? We got them to change the schedule by 2 hours by threatening legal action, but I still don't think 4pm is any better that 2pm when we were told 5pm. In the first week of classes, we went through 3 different instructors for one class alone, and didn't have any grades until 4 weeks into a 12 week class. They promise educated instructors. Where are they? Seriously? They offer a program and night classes but all of a sudden we are afternoon, and they don't have instructors to teach the classes! I am so fed up with this program already! Place is a joke.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on February 16, 2010:
Wow, what a nice compliment to be included in Dale's new blog. I know that I have you to thank, Miss Jen! It warms my heart that you are being so encouraging about getting me back in the groove of writing. I really do intend to continue and I do promise that I will be back soon.
Jen's Solitude from Delaware on February 16, 2010:
Here you go Connie, it is the one I told you about.
and belongs to Dale Mazurek
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on February 13, 2010:
Hi Dale, thanks for the comments. I actually enjoy doing some research, so I really find that the time passes quickly. I appreciate that you posted my hub on your blog, but hoping that we can get the link since your name or email do not show up here nor does a hub author name.
on February 10, 2010:
What a wonderful hub. The research you went through must have been daunting.
It is very important to get information like this out there.
Your hub is now posted on my blog.
You can find the link to my blog on my profile page.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on February 09, 2010:
Thanks for commenting, Brandon. I am always interested in hearing other people's stories about their experience with any for-profit college, whether it is good or bad. I would be happy to have some positive comments to balance out my article, but of course, I am anxious to learn all the scams that are out there. As always, I offer confidentiality on request.
Brandon on February 06, 2010:
I have a cousin this happened to it is a real shame that the government will stand by and let these schools rob students and the government
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on November 26, 2009:
Thanks for reading my article, Ncy. I wish you would send me anything you have. Everything is confidential and I don't use any names without permission. Please read my article on Miami-Jacobs at http://www.whyitmatters.org/2009/04/miami-jacobs-c...
I know many students are afraid to speak out. You can post anonymously there or email me. Also, at the top of the page there is a link to email me. The emails are anonymous because they come through hubpages. The only way this school is going to get shut down or make the changes that is needed for the students is for people who know to speak out. Miami-Jacobs was my original reason for my other blog and also the real reason that lead me here.
Ncy on November 25, 2009:
Miami Jacobs is a joke and needs to be shut down!!! I say copy and paste all of this to them and to the Ohio State board of Colleges. Look up every complaint you can find and forward it!!!!
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on November 17, 2009:
Some communities do have public vocational education for adults. My sister is taking cosmetology at PTech in Pinellas County, Florida at about half the cost she would be paying at a for-profit college like Barbizon. Our public officials have failed us in this area, though. While they are spending our money on pork projects, they could be putting that money where they can get some tax dollars back in the future by educating our young people. They have also failed us through the legislature by not making these programs more standard so these credits can transfer to other schools.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on September 23, 2009:
First of all, Mark, when we have questions about our school, there should never be "repercussions," from the staff. Please email me and we will talk about your general questions and I will try to help you come up with some solutions for your own problem or at least some ways to find the answers you are looking for. You must be having problems already or you wouldn't be looking for answers. I hate that for you, but let us find out what is going on first so we can see what direction you might need to move in. One good thing is that you are not too far along in your program at this point. Email me by using the contact info below my picture at the top right of this page. I will do my best to help you find your way to the answers you need, but I need more info from you in order to do so. Thanks for taking a look and send your friends along to take a look as well. Being forewarned is being forearmed.
Mark Snow on September 23, 2009:
I haverecently started attending Miami-jacobs and have since had all these issues come to light. How do I get the answers I want without repercussions from the staff?
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on August 30, 2009:
Thanks, Ralph. I haven't done any research on U of Phoenix yet, but I have seen several of their locations along the I-75 corridor on a recent trip. I read another article on them here at Hubpages, but as I haven't done any personal research, I don't want to pass along rumors. I will work on that research as soon as I get time.
Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on August 30, 2009:
Well done! What kind of a reputation does University of Phoenix have/
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on August 15, 2009:
LOL, Jen, how DO you find this stuff out? Anyway, yes it is nice to know. Thanks for being so supportive. You know how much I appreciate it.
Jen's Solitude from Delaware on August 15, 2009:
Hey Connie, its nice to see this article is listed among the best of its category. Job well done!
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on August 11, 2009:
Amy, it is for people just like you that I do not give up my fight to bring awareness of these issues at for-profit schools. That does not mean that Miami-Jacobs is not the school for you. My own daughter still attends. What it does mean is going in just like you said: Armed with informed questions and knowledge. Unfortunately, I asked the questions when my own daughter enrolled. Though I had my questions answered, later they denied making the answers. What the solution is to that problem, I do not know. I do know that at the main location, there are several students who feel they were promised a laptop computer which never materialized. I believe that they have a way of saying you MIGHT get one without really saying you WILL get one. Any big statements like this and other questions that you specifically have, I suggest that you ask for these promises and answers in writing. If they refuse, you have a better answer. Find another school and start asking again.
We were never given any access to the girl who answered our question falsely and she still does not work at that location. I will also ask you for a favor...please ask the financial aid officer to EXPLAIN the Master Promissory Note to you if you decide to go and apply for a federal loan. See if she or he can explain it sufficiently and knowledgeably. We found that the financial aid office (including the director!)really was NOT aware of what it contained. That would be funny, except that EVERY student who attends the school signs one. As it is a CONTRACT, you need to have it explained THOROUGHLY by a KNOWLEDGEABLE professional. As you have already been to college and may be familiar with the Promissory Note, it will be interesting to see if your f.a. officer has been properly trained.
Though I plan to use these questions in another part to the series, here are a few questions worth asking:
Questions to ask the Admissions Representative:
1.How long has the program I want to enroll in been taught at this school? (This affects the accreditation of the program.
2. Is the accreditation for this program under question at this time and does it operate under a "conditional" approval? (see lawsuits above)
3. What is the particular placement rate for THIS program? (not just placement rates for the school...)
4. Who are some of the employers who consistently hire graduates from this program? (you can call them to find out how sound they feel the program and value is to the profession)
5. What is the actual class size of this program? How MANY students in my class? (My daughter's class has only THREE students. While this makes for great one on one with the teacher, it leads to boredom on the teacher's part and lots of STUDY HALLS AND MOVIES if the other two are absent. Yes, there is such a thing as too small of a class.
6. What is the retention and graduation rate for this particular program? (EXACTLY how many students have graduated from this program?) For the School as a whole?
7. Are there any current plans to discontinue this program? (If there are, there will be no investments in equipment, etc. to keep the program up to date)
8. Can I get a copy of the enrollment agreement to look over before I sign it? (At the very least, READ IT CAREFULLY. Believe it or not, this benign "agreement" is a CONTRACT.)
9. Where do students park? How much does it cost?
10. Is there security at night?
11. How many of the prospective students who apply are enrolled in the school? (This is important though it may not sound so)
12. Is there a list of the current textbooks used in the program that is available? Where else may I buy these books? (According to state law, tuition can NOT include textbooks, but it does at M-J.)
13. May I meet the teacher to discuss the program before signing up?
14. May I speak with other students who are already enrolled in the program? (Facebook is great for searching for other enrolled students in your area. See if you can get some real feedback on your program. It might save you thousands).
There are probably many more questions, but if you decide to attend after getting the answers, good luck to you. There is nothing wrong at all in attending, as long as you protect yourself. Thanks for stopping by and please, let others know who may need the same answers!
One last thing btw...you would not have found me if you weren't doing your homework, just like you should! I predict great success for you
Amy on August 11, 2009:
Thank you so so much for this series of 3 articles. I am scheduled for a tour of Miami Jacobs tomorrow and I just kept thinking- Wow this is really expensive. I've been to college but wanted a career change that might compliment the job I already have. So basically, I am an adult attending College for the second time and was just a little concerned with their practices, prices, etc. You have no idea how wide my eyes have been opened and how much I have learned from this article! I will go in there tomorrow (because I personally know the admissions rep) but I will be armed with informed questions and knowledge that I wouldn't have gotten without these articles. I can't begin to thank you for the thousands of dollars you have just saved me. As a single mom it means so much to know people are looking out for me! Connie, I am forever in your debt (and not Miami-Jacobs)! :)
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on July 25, 2009:
What a nice comment to wake up with Linda. I am searching for different ways to reach outside traffic, but I actually starting blogging in general (and moving on to hubpages) due to this subject. I found that I really enjoy writing on a lot of different subjects, but can't give up on trying to help get the word out on these for-profit colleges. I have a blog that has gotten traffic for this subject but not enough. These haven't been up long enough to tell if they are going to be effective here. I had thought that if they didn't work real well here, I could always move them elsewhere. I will take a look at the examiner.com site. It is definitely nice to have a reference offer and very gratifying. Thank you.
Jen, you are so much my girl! I had to laugh to see you there cheering me on. You have no idea what that means to me. I am speechless when it comes to that (and you know that doesn't happen lol).
Jen's Solitude from Delaware on July 25, 2009:
Wow Connie, imagine being able to determine your niche? Sounds like an excellent suggestion to me.
lindagoffigan on July 25, 2009:
Connie Smith, you article on the differences in colleges is excellent. Your writing is so prolific that you should see about joining Examiner.com as you seem to have found your niche and let them know that lindagoffigan sent you. You should apply for the examiner that has to do with higher education. Let me know what you think? Are you getting a lot of outside traffic on such an excellent piece of work? Hubpages is a great site but it seemed to be geared to community type topics. Your illustrations are right on.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on July 23, 2009:
At least it is being noticed there, Jaspal. I am not sure that anyone here knows there is a problem yet (or at least it appears that if they do, they are doing little about it).
Jaspal from New Delhi, India on July 23, 2009:
There are a number of private career oriented schools mushrooming in the urban areas of India too. They claim to train and adequately qualify students for diverse jobs ranging from air hostesses, pilots, software programmers, fashion technologists and designers, radio, video or disc jockeys, to certified financial professionals to whatever else an imaginative mind could think of.
Most of such vocational colleges are just money spinning commercial ventures with no one to supervise their activities, much to the woe of gullible students and their suffering parents. Fortunately, public debates on TV and other media are now being aired and the Minister in charge of Education appears to be keen to implement some improvement.
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on July 23, 2009:
You can just leave that cute little thing off of the s or the e, lol. What I want to do is EXPOSE these problems so that our young and vunerable students get the educations that they deserve. In spite of the negativity, I do believe that vocational education does have its place in higher education. However, in order for our tax dollars to be used effectively, and in the best interest of our students, we need someone minding the money farm.
These students deserve more than they are getting.
Jen's Solitude from Delaware on July 23, 2009:
Wow, Connie, is this what they call an EXPOSE, (my spelling is missing that cute little thing over the S or the E) but I'm sure you know what I mean. MJ's Scam Revealed!
Anyone smart enough to do research before signing forms will have your articles outlining all the problems, tricks, scams, and hassles, which will steer them in another direction.
I'm sure you will be hearing from more frustrated students and will be able to direct and assist them. I know you would like more to be done, but those who receive your help in the future, will be very grateful and you will have hopefully saved them from what your daughter has endured.
Good job, my friend!
Connie Smith (author) from Tampa Bay, Florida on July 23, 2009:
Thanks for your kind comments, Tom. As you can probably see, it is a subject I feel very strongly about. In fact, in a round about way, it is what brought me to Hubpages. Education in America is too important to be left up to chance. With idiotic practices like these going on, it is no wonder our children are falling behind.
Tom rubenoff from United States on July 23, 2009:
Some things should just not be a business. Thank you for this marvelously detailed article.