More Everest College Grads Sue Over Non-Transferable Credits

Last year, we brought you the story of 13 graduates of Everest College’s Dallas campus who filed a lawsuit claiming they had been misled by the for-profit school into believing they would be able to find jobs and transfer their credits upon graduation. Now, a handful of Everest alums in Utah have filed a similar lawsuit, alleging fraud by the school.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

The suit, filed Friday in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court, alleges Everest’s recruiters subjected prospective students to high-pressure sales tactics that omitted or distorted crucial information about the transferability of credits, as well as the debt loads associated with enrolling.

As mentioned in our story from yesterday about the GAO’s report on the dramatic increase in federal student aid to students at for-profit schools, many graduates of these institutions discover too late that the classes they have borrowed large sums of money to pay for often do not transfer to other colleges and universities.

Says the lawyer for the plaintiffs, “Sadly, based on these misrepresentations, they completed their associate’s degrees and then learned that the degree was useless for transferring to a school where they could get a bachelor’s… The money they borrowed was wasted. That creates a problem not just for the students who took out the loans, but also causes a problem for the federal government that is issuing the loans.”

In a related story, the Everest College campus in San Bernadino, CA, was recently singled out by the federal government as having the highest student loan default rate in the state, with over 30% of federal loans being defaulted on in 2008.

Everest College grads sue, alleging fraud [Salt Lake Tribune]
For-profit Everest College has highest student loan default rate in state [CaliforniaWatch.org]

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  1. Mecharine says:

    What makes someone decide to go to a for-profit school instead of community or state colleges?

    • Portlandia says:

      These schools have a nearly 100% acceptance rate. It’s a pay for a degree institution. People think they can’t get into a traditional school or university so they opt for these more expensive programs because it’s the easy way out.

      I had a co-worker that went to University of Phoenix for her MBA the same time I went to a University of California school for mine. Her HS and college grades weren’t great, she didn’t have to take the GMAT (which I did) and there was basically no application process. Her first year of tuition cost more than my entire 2 years in the program.

      So, it’s a buy a degree program.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        What’s especially sad about the acceptance rate for these for-profit institutions is that many community colleges also have a nearly 100% acceptance rate, yet also provide higher quality education. Many community college systems (the Northern VA one comes to mind) even have programs to help students in community college transition to the local state and private universities so they can get their bachelor’s degrees.

        • Portlandia says:

          That’s an excellent point. I went to a Community College in CA to start with and we had a transfer program that virtually guaranteed me admissions to a UofCA school when I completed so many course credits. It’s an excellent program and say what you want about CA and politics the state has some of the best public universities in the world.

        • ZeGoggles says:

          Yep. Northern Virginia Community College has a FANTASTIC program in place to assist people in transferring to other schools in the area. They literally hand you an advising sheet saying “Take these classes and you’re pretty much guaranteed transfer admission to [xyz] school.” This is a prime, good example of how community college can save a ton of money and you can still get to the school of your dreams (at least in state, anyways).

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        I was lucky. I started school late at 31 so I needed to hurry it up for my Associate’s so I went to ITT Tech. However the college that I transferred to for my engineering degree took 100% of all my classes. It seems that I had taken all the required math, stats, algebra, calculus and physics for my undergrad’s so I all needed were the cores in engineering. I doubt that would happen today because everyone is broke because I’ve heard that the transference of credits also depends upon the economy too. It was good back in ’97.

        • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

          I turn 32 in a couple of weeks, and in Dec. I’ll get my AAS in Computer Networking from ITT. I’ve felt very fortunate at the amount of hands on experience I’ve had. And while my class credits don’t transfer yet, the degree will.

          It’s costing me twice what the local tech college would, but they worked with me to help me reinstate my fafsa eligibility and the small class sizes (never more than 25 in a class) makes a huge difference on the ability to learn.

    • Keavy_Rain says:

      In my case, it was the fact that I had been in Community College for three years and still had a year to go to get my A.S. U of P got me a B.A. in two and a half years, accepted my CC credits for the Gen Ed requirements (The first six months was the Gen Ed I was missing for their grad requirements) and I’ve got an interview at Apple next week for Tier 1 Tech Support.

      It was expensive, but if I’d stuck with the Community/State colleges I’d probably be a year away from graduation, thanks to budget cuts and limited class sizes.

      • jefeloco says:

        “It was expensive, but if I’d stuck with the Community/State colleges I’d probably be a year away from graduation, thanks to budget cuts and limited class sizes.”

        Which is why my wife went to Apollo/Carrington College. She got laid off from Micron and got TAA funds to go to school (since her engineering job got shipped to China without her). We looked into nursing programs at BSU, NNU and CWI but they had 1-3 year waiting lists and her TAA funding stipulated that she had to finish her re-education within two years.

        Apollo/Carrington was more expensive but it was a one year program, the government and Micron paid for it, and the state nursing exam (NCLEX) nets you the same qualifying license no matter where you went to school. Several of her instructors used to teach at BSU and NNU and said the main difference between them and Apollo was that Apollo was a year shorter and had a lot more clinical hours (damned important to get practical education in nursing).

    • Sultan of Swing says:

      You need to have a High School diploma to get into community or state college. Many for-profit schools, including Everest, don’t require a diploma. You can enroll as long as you pass the entrance exam, which I have been told is on about a 9th grade level.

      • The cake is a lie! says:

        I don’t know where you got that information from. They required a diploma and a high school transcript when I enrolled.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      University of Phoenix, ITT, and DeVry are also ‘for profit’ schools. There isn’t anything inherently bad about them. They offer a far greater number of online classes than most colleges. Most of them offer classes during the day or night so you can still have a job while you are going to school. I’ve personally never understood the mentality some people have which says they need to quit their jobs and work part time at The Gap while they take their 12 credit hours per semester. Some of us make too much money to get Pell grants and other government aid. We want to complete a degree which got interrupted by family or travel or whatever reason.

      If you think ‘for profit’ schools target the poor or uneducated, then you should take a look at the admissions standards of some of these schools and look at the tuition rates. UOP is not a cheap school to attend. The key thing for new students to research is their accreditation status and which schools accept that particular accreditation. Because these accelerated learning programs offered by schools like this are often on different schedules from traditional universities, credits do not always transfer straight across. Research should be done. However, you should also be able to take the admissions rep’s word when they tell you what kind of accreditation they have and which schools students have transferred to before. If they lie to you, then they should be held accountable. A new student has enough research to do when selecting a program and a college to have to verify everything the admissions office tells them too. That is why they are there.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        You can’t compare quality of education to cost, though. UC-Berkeley is one of the best colleges in the country, and it costs less to attend UC-Berkeley than it does University of Phoenix or DeVry in the same state. You can’t associate high tuition with “better.”

    • Julia789 says:

      I went to a for-profit secretarial school 15 years ago, and I’ve had a great career. It taught me everything I needed to get a good job as an executive assistant. I work for one of the top executives in a national company. I pull in a damned good salary, at times earning more than my husband who has a 4-year state university degree. I have no regrets. I chose to attend because the price was right, the timing was right, and I knew I would have a solid job I could take anywhere in the country and could always fall back on no matter what I did later in life.

      Now many years later, I’m getting my college degree (State University) not because I need it to make more money in my career but because I am interested in self-improvement and life-long learning.

  2. milkcake says:

    Any college that advertises itself on train billboards or some late night shows are almost always bad. I also have to say that, the people who goes to these school are bottom of food chains. They really don’t know anything. Not only they are not academically smart, but also not street-smart. There should be a law to protect these people. (Shut down the schools for fraud for that matter).

    • brandihendrix says:

      while I agree that there should be laws to protect people from schools that are unscrupulous, calling these people the “bottom of food chains. They really don’t know anything. Not only they are not academically smart, but also not street-smart.” is terribly and horribly rude.

      These are people who are working to better themselves, get themselves an education so that they can do more with their lives, and you are still looking down on them?! Sure, they aren’t going to Harvard, but they are trying, and this type of elitism doesn’t help anyone.

      • TouchMyMonkey says:

        These are people who are lured by the possibility of getting a four year degree in less than three years. I hate to tell you this, but the only way to pull that off is to already have more than a year’s worth of transferable credits. That or take something like 20 hours per semester, which is just plain dumb.

        That said, most of these for-profit schools are sure to put the caveat “credits earned are unlikely to transfer” in a reasonably conspicuous location in their advertising.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I agree that it’s rude to say these kinds of students are at the “bottom of food chains,” but I imagine that a lot of these people get into their situations because they didn’t stop to educate themselves on all of their options. In short, they weren’t being the smartest with their decisions.

        I don’t know whether they were too trusting or gullible, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that $45,000 for an associate’s degree is less valuable than $3,003 (in-state) for a semester (well, 14 credit hours) of classes at the University of Utah, which is where one of the women in the Salt Lake Tribune article was attempting to transfer.

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        I agree. I did well in high school but I just never wanted to go to college. When I hit 30 and realized that that was the appropriate route to take I didn’t have any choice but to go to ITT Tech. Back in ’97, we didn’t have online/satellite college courses from Western MI U., Mich State, Ferris State U, or any of the others that offer convenient and close to home instruction today. And when you’re 30, working, and need to pay the bills, you can’t go back home and you can’t quit your job to do school full-time. However, I would never allow my kids to wait. I learned my lesson; go to college after high school. I had to work from 7 to about 330pm every day and then hit school 6pm to 10pm every night, five days a week and study Sat and Sun. There are time-frames during that 2 year period that honestly I cannot remember anything because I was a walking zombie. lol.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I hear this a lot, but it’s really not true. All of the major DC universities advertise in the subway systems here, including George Washington University and Georgetown. The University of Maryland also advertises its continuing education program, which is much more helpful (not to mention legitimate) for working adults than any of these for-profit schools are.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      I’m guess that you were born a genius and graduated High School with an innate ability to see immediately when a college admissions rep was lying to you. Not everybody else is that lucky. However, since you are of the intellect where you feel it is appropriate to make huge blanket statements about topics you know nothing about, I guess I’ll let it slide. There is no way you know how all for profit colleges advertise and you have no right to lump every student who has attended one with the “not academically smart and not street smart” crowd that you clearly don’t hang with.

      If every scam were as transparent as you seem to think they are, then nobody would ever be scammed. This is a very coordinated and very advanced scam with participation at all levels of the administration. The fraud is not revealed until you near graduation and start putting in applications for other colleges in an effort to transfer credits for another degree. Nothing is revealed in process of taking the classes which would lead you to believe that your credits are not as transferable as you may think.

      However, with that being said, the credits are not entirely useless. There are many schools which will take credits from regionally accredited schools. I found one to take mine and worked to complete my bachelor’s degree through that school instead of the university. When all is said and done, my degree is just as good as anybody else’s and I was able to complete it while raising a family and working full time. Kind of a pricey lesson to learn, but it all worked out.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      Wow. You think you’re smarter than me. You think you’re smarter than my classmates. BTW, just so you don’t embarrass yourself further, those were statements, not questions with improper punctuation.

      I’m offended that you think that way. That’s what I feared employers would think about my education at ITT. However, my fears have been allayed by the incredibly awesome job opportunities myself and my classmates have been presented with the help of the career services adviser at our school.

      From the sheer magnitude of your ignorance on the matter, I think you should go back to school.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      How’s that nosebleed going??

  3. fair_and_balanced says:

    I’m sorry but I have no sympathy for these adults.
    Should these scammers be shut down? Yes, but reputable schools should also not allowed to offer majors where there are no jobs for at all like liberal arts, womens studies, african american studies, asian studies, fine arts, philosophy, religious studies, history (non-teaching), etc.
    The need to be very selective with majors were jobs are very hard to get like, forestry, zoology, marine biology, theatre, film, anthropology, journalism, creative writing, communication, Fashion, acting, and many more like these.

    It is the responsibility of the student to call up schools in advance to make sure they take credits from Everest before they enroll.

    • JeremieNX says:

      So basically cut out any and all majors that hold cultural value and turn all the reputable universities into trade schools? No wonder this country is turning into a vast culture-less wasteland.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      If they are scammers, that means they are not reputable schools. Reputable schools should most definitely offer a variety of majors, including all of the ones you name. There are certainly jobs in all of those fields.

      If you mean that these for-profit schools should be more like trade schools, then I agree.

      • fair_and_balanced says:

        No there are not jobs in those fields.
        Do you know what people do when they get those degrees????
        They either go into grad school when they can’t find the job they want thinking a masters will make their worthless degree better or they get an assistant manager job at some retail place like Abercrombie, Walgreens, Walmart, etc.
        All jobs that someone without a college degree can get.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I don’t get why you keep insisting there are NO jobs in any of those fields. What’s your degree? Honestly, you really just sound like someone who is upset that everyone else has a degree and is actually using it for something worthwhile. Maybe it’s you who gets passed over at job interviews.

    • tonberryqueen says:

      Um, an acting or film degree hardly guarantees a job.

      And there’s nothing wrong with those “bad” degrees you listed. Having a BA, in any major, is helpful on the job market. That includes liberal arts. Especially when you consider that many people don’t take jobs directly related to their major. (I didn’t, and I actually have a somewhat specialized degree.)

      • tonberryqueen says:

        Whoops, read part of that wrong.

        But my point about BA’s being valuable still stands.

      • fair_and_balanced says:

        There is something wrong. The degrees in no way help you get a job. They are 100% a waste of money and the colleges know it, but they still offer them.
        All those degrees do is make you better than some with no experience and only a HS degree.
        If you had a liberal arts degree you would easily be passed over for someone with no college degree and some experience.

        These schools are reckless offering worthless majors.

    • jonquil says:

      Tell my husband the English major that his 34-year career as a programmer wasn’t a real job. Or any of the philosophers, linguistics majors, and physicists I bump into in the industry every day. Or President Obama’s political science major — clearly irrelevant to the real world.

      Colleges aren’t actually vocational apprenticeships. The purpose of an education is not to carve you into the perfect employee.

      • fair_and_balanced says:

        Your husband and those other people with the worthless degrees would have had an easier start and be better off if they had a major that could have helped them get a job.

        An english major as a programmer is no better than someone with no college degree who programs in an interview.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          The fact that jonquil’s husband has worked for 34 years as a programmer flies in the face of any assertion you make that certain degrees are “useless.” You should just stop.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      A college education looks good on a resume because it shows that A) the candidate can finish something, B) he/she probably understands deadlines, prioritizing projects, etc. and C) has some understanding of school/employer policies and can follow the rules. It doesn’t matter much WHAT it is.

      Also, a lot of those degrees have transferable skills. English? One of my teachers said employers love English degrees, because they mean usually the person knows how to write. Seems like I see a lot of business communications recently (including company blogs and marketing materials) where the people couldn’t write a coherent or correct sentence at gunpoint. Maybe they were business majors? In English programs you have to do literary analysis. Analytical skills are transferable. Creative skills help someone think outside the box and come up with solutions.

      I actually know very few people in today’s economy who have specialized degrees who are actually working in their field, except for nursing. There just aren’t enough jobs lately and that has nothing to do with their majors.

      • fair_and_balanced says:

        That is my point. Those specialized degrees are worthless because they train you for jobs that do not exist. College should not offer them and they should make you pick a major that will actually help you get a job.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Engineering is a very specialized field, and I know a lot of engineers who have jobs. There is no magic formula to determining which jobs will be booming when you get out of college. Students shouldn’t be funneled into the mentality that the end goal is a job, happiness or aptitude be damned. Students need to be encouraged to pursue the subjects they want to spend their careers in, while encouraging them to examine all of their priorities. If you want to be an African Studies major, that’s great, as long as you know what a career in such a field will entail, professionally and personally.

        • I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

          There’s the mistake; you go to school to learn, not to get a job. There are jobs out there already.

    • Disappointed says:

      What about people who want to do research as their career? People who major in Women’s Studies, African-American Studies, Anthropology, etc., often go on to get their Master’s degrees and Doctoral degrees in these fields, thus advancing knowledge. The advancement of knowledge does everyone good.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      Hi there! History major. Worked for three years right out of college, just long enough to pay down $30,000 in loans, buy a car (plus a whole bunch of other stupid shit), and have enough money saved to go back and take two more years of school to meet pre-med requirements. What were you saying, then?

      A bachelor’s degree in ANYTHING that is not a hard science is basically equivalent to any other non-hard science bachelor’s degree. It says they want econ majors, they’ll take poli sci. Sociology? Eh, legal studies will do. HR is usually just looking for people with experience in formulating ideas. A B.B.A. gives you a two-week head start on puttering around in Excel all day. Big whoop.

      Most people don’t work in a lab, school, hospital, or courtroom. How do you suppose they continue to exist?

  4. The cake is a lie! says:

    I sued them in 2003 when they were still Mountain West College. Corinthian (parent company) turned around and counter sued because of the arbitration agreement in the contract. My defense was the fact that I only enrolled because they told me the credits were transferable, therefore the contract was entered into through fraud. You can’t enforce a fraudulent contract. They waved a piece of paper, which was in the stack they had me sign, which said I agree that regardless of what the admissions rep tells me, credits are not transferable. I ran up a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of their defense money before we settled out of court. Nothing really got resolved other than they agreed if I drop my case against them that they would help get my credits transferred over to the University of Utah. I was working for a law firm at the time (I graduated with a paralegal degree) and they took the whole case on contingency, so I didn’t have to pay anything for it. Corinthian did a good job of throwing their full weight against me in the case though. They definitely didn’t want someone to win and trigger the flood of suits that would be filed immediately after.

    This is a systemic problem across all Corinthian College campuses. It happens with their medical assisting programs and paralegal programs all over the country. They tell you your degree counts for state certifications and will transfer to other colleges, but it doesn’t. It isn’t cheap college either. My 2 year degree cost over $25,000. They said the premium cost of tuition was because the degree was so widely recognized and accepted. Yeah right…

    • fair_and_balanced says:

      It may transfer to some college somewhere so they probably are not lying or they probably say some classes can transfer.

      It is 100% up to the student to check which college will take transfer credits from that college before they enroll.
      You have to be stupid if your plan is to transfer to another college and you did not check with that college first to see if they take those credits.

      • The cake is a lie! says:

        I didn’t plan to transfer anywhere in particular when I enrolled. The scam is that they tell you that you don’t need to do any research because they already know that their credits transfer to all the schools in the area. Two years after I enrolled I got my lesson in the difference between regional accreditation and national accreditation. I’ll bet you anything that your admissions rep didn’t say anything about those two regardless of what school you enrolled at.

        Did you know there are schools that won’t take your University credits? Did you check all possibilities before you enrolled? How would you feel if four years later you find out that a school you weren’t even considering to begin with, didn’t accept your credits when you were assured that your credits were as good as any other school in town?

        Some of you people could do a little better at putting yourself in the shoes of those who were screwed by this. I at least had options when I graduated and there were schools to transfer my credits to, but there are a lot of people who attend Corinthian College campuses aren’t so lucky. They are told that the medical program they are taking will be accepted by the state as adequate training and certification for the industry when it really isn’t. They are told that their technology degree will transfer to the university for an advanced degree in the same field when it doesn’t. The crime here isn’t that people aren’t doing their research. It is that the school is deliberately lying and doing everything they can to keep you enrolled until you find out too late that you have been misled. I was just lucky and got a legal education which put me in a job with the ability to pursue them in court after I graduated.

  5. The cake is a lie! says:

    Also, I am not stupid. Their admissions reps promised and assured me that the credits would transfer. I had no reason to disbelieve them and I didn’t see the need to check with every college I may transfer them to in order to verify that. They were offering a program I wanted to take in a career field I wanted to work in. They not only sucker the stupid, but they also pull the wool over the eyes of the intelligent. These are schools which promise better lives once you get your degree and are able to advance in your career and they are targeting adults and fresh high school graduates alike. They run similar programs as University of Phoenix which appeal to people trying to work full time while going to school. Taking advantage of single moms trying to go to school while working full time so they can get a better job to provide for their families is just the lowest form of fraud if you ask me. I’m not a single mom, but I was young and working full time when I looked for a school to attend and I thought I was doing the right thing by being responsible and paying my bills and my tuition while attending. For them to take advantage of me was just wrong.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      So, in other words, hindsight is 20/20. Their reps made myriad promises and reassurances, and even “promise better lives once you get your degree and are able to advance in your career” and you believed them. Common sense dictates that nothing in life is guaranteed. People who don’t stick to this belief when confronted by the wolf in sheep’s clothing, assuring them of a good life while holding out their hand (paw?) for the check, become victims.

      It’s a hard lesson to learn, that’s for sure.

      • The cake is a lie! says:

        Nobody assured me of a good life. I wanted to be a paralegal and Mountain West (now called Everest) had a program that fit my needs. I had a real job and was making good money and paid for my tuition all by myself. I didn’t have my hand out and didn’t have anybody or any government program pay my way for me. Admissions reps have a position of trust that they are telling you the truth and are helping you do the right thing. I don’t think the fact I took their word that they had students transfer credits to the University of Utah means I am gullible. They told me they wouldn’t transfer everywhere because of the difference in accreditation (which is the real reason they don’t transfer), but they told me they were set up to transfer to the U.

        It is better to trust often and be wrong once in awhile than to mistrust always and be right once in awhile.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I would rather trust, but check the facts anyway. I trust myself foremost. If I can make mistakes, other people can as well.

          • The cake is a lie! says:

            So you verify EVERYTHING people tell you? When you see a speed limit sign, do you check with the city to make sure it is showing the correct speed limit? Do you send your cereal to a lab to verify that it actually contains all of the ingredients posted on the label? Do you follow up every email with a “did you get that last email”? Sometimes you just have to trust that someone is telling the truth. I had no reason to mistrust them as there had been no lawsuits filed against them in 2002 when I enrolled. Sure in hindsight I would tell people to verify that kind of thing, but when you have no reason not to trust them, it isn’t logical to expect people to verify what admissions reps tell them.

            • alisonann says:

              Admissions counselors have the institution’s best interest in mind, not the prospective student’s. It’s not appropriate to call them salesmen but they are not there to help you in any way past persuading you to attend the school. There should be no reasonable assumption of trust in that relationship.

              • The cake is a lie! says:

                Seriously??? Well, fortunately the law sees it differently. Teachers and Admissions reps may work for the school, but they are still in a legal position of trust and what they say carries greater weight because of their position. Knowing whether or not students can transfer credits to a local University should be something they know. When they lie to you and say that many students transfer there after graduation, they are held to a much higher standard of trust. That is what my lawyer told me and that is what the judge told them.

                • alisonann says:

                  It’s evasive, but not a lie. If the school is accredited its credits can transfer to an institution with the same accreditation. This might be completely useless for lots of students (as it was for you) and they may very well have known that but they only misled you, they didn’t misinform you. I’m not saying it’s okay, and I am sorry for what happened to you, but this situation was avoidable.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      I hear you. Last year I enrolled at Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, MI for ONE TERM and then quit. Best move of my entire f’ing life. That was all I could stand. They had recently began a new program that allowed adults to attend their law school on the weekends which seemed very cool and convenient at the time. They sold me a bunch of lies also like how they were there to support me 24/7 and how I were going to be successful through their “proven program”. However, once classes began, their colour’s turned almost immediately to a shade of “deep shit”. Faculty was never around on the weekend; you had to take time off of your job during the weekday to see ANYONE; faculty was rude and condescending and uphelpful and I was treated like a high school kid. Almost every faculty member that discussed what we were to do to succeed had an different theory and idea on how to do it, so they completely confused the hell out of everyone in my class. The only good faculty were the law prof’s. Basically, I spent every weekend studying after class alone with no help up until midnight. Hell, I spent so much time there that I knew the front-door guards by their first name. lol. Most of my classmates were out of towners so they couldn’t stay. When I asked about tutor’s so I could track my skills in doing the exams, I was told that no tutor’s were available and that they didn’t know where to get any. I felt like a fool.

      Long story short; I quit, paid my bill, and got the f*** out of there. I am now looking at some paralegal schools instead and then maybe, just maybe, law school again one day (if I can afford it).

  6. Sultan of Swing says:

    I used to work for Everest University as a High School Admissions Rep, and am very glad to be gone. We (the reps) were told that *some* credits *may* transfer to a state school, but it was dependent upon the school the student transferred to. However, after a few months of working there I began to have my doubts about this and did some research of my own. Sure enough, I found that very few (if any) of the credits earned at Everest would transfer to a state school. Once I learned that, I made it a point to never tell a prospective student that their credits would or could transfer. Instead I told them that this is a different type of school and program and that if they plan to continue their education beyond Everest then they should consider a different school.

    The thing that I found hardest to handle was that you could get an AA from a community college for about $7,000, and it would guarantee that you could start at any of the state schools as a Junior. An AA from Everest would cost $37,000 and did not allow you to start at a state school as a Junior. I really couldn’t justify selling somebody on a degree that cost $30,000 more and wasn’t worth much more than the paper it was printed on.

  7. framitz says:

    I had always assumed that Everest was a diploma mill ripoff. You mean they actually educate?

  8. calchip says:

    Various frauds in education have been around for decades. In the 80s and 90s, there were lots of totally fraudulent “schools” (which existed only at a UPS store mailbox) offering degrees based on “life experience” for anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Some even set up fake “accreditors” so they could say they were accredited.

    The newer trend is for equity firms to purchase legitimate schools that already have accreditation and essentially turn them into legal but un-wonderful schools. Many of the large for-profit schools are owned by equity firms that, in turn, are owned by nice people like Goldman-Sachs. Of course… the for-profits spend a fortune, sometimes 40% of tuition, on advertising.

    The sad thing is there are hundreds of nonprofit or public college and universities with exceptional educational programs and innovative delivery systems that are as low as $100/credit hour and sometimes even less. Charter Oak State College, part of the Connecticut state system, has a program where adults with a fair amount of knowledge and experience can complete exams and portfolios and earn a legitimate, properly accredited bachelors degree for under $4000. Contrast this with the $40-60,000 that some of the for-profits charge and it’s easy to get annoyed.

    degreeinfo.com is the oldest and largest discussion community on the web focused on online and distance learning programs, and in the 350,000 odd posts there, you’ll find information (good and bad) on just about every distance learning program out there, and often, on low-cost public schools that offer the same degrees and programs as for-profit institutions for sometimes 1/3 of the cost.

    If you’re considering going back to school, I recommend checking it out.

  9. calchip says:

    Just for giggles, I decided to check Everest’s site, and use Everest’s online chat to speak with one of their representatives about their accreditation (which is the reason why the school’s credits don’t transfer to other colleges and universities.) The school is intentionally misleading about its accreditation, which it does by omitting who actually accredits it.

    The chat with the Everest online rep (and more info) is at the link below, for anyone interested:

    http://www.degreeinfo.com/distance-learning-discussions/36165-everest-college-legitimately-accredited-school-misrepresenting-its-accreditation.html

  10. LainieP says:

    Yep, DegreeInfo.com is a great resource. Just because a school is “accredited”, even if accredited by a body recognized by the United States Department of Education, doesn’t mean that its credits will transfer. No school is required to accept transfer credits, and regionally accredited schools often don’t accept credits from non-regionally accredited schools. Many people don’t know the difference between different types of accreditation, so when a school advertises that it is “nationally” accredited, potential students assume that all is cool. Not so.

    Many community colleges now offer online/weekend classes, are usually regionally accredited, and offer a full gamut of career certifications to boot. They are inexpensive and typically have open enrollment policies. But they don’t have slick “admissions advisers” nor huge advertising budgets. That’s why people don’t opt for a community college over a for-profit school.

  11. bitplayer says:

    There was a great Frontline about this. These companies are frauds. Everyone wants a free market but that system depends on honesty.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      EXACTLY!!! Dishonesty in college admissions is absolutely horrible and I can’t believe that institutions like Corinthian Colleges have been allowed to continue their systemic deception across the whole country. Sure students should do their research regarding transfer of credits, but admissions reps shouldn’t be lying about it either. There should be consequences. Even if a student finds out they are being lied to before they enroll, what happens to the school that told them the lie to begin with? It is like a mousetrap. Maybe the mouse gets wise and realizes it is a trap, but what about the person who put it there? Shouldn’t the mouse have some recourse?

  12. alisonann says:

    It’s frustrating, sure, but I have no sympathy for people who don’t make an effort to inform themselves about things they believe are important. It is very easy to find out if a college is regionally accredited. If these students had the foresight to ask if credits would transfer but didn’t have the motivation to find out for themselves, they are the ones at fault.
    That said, shady colleges are shady.

    • LainieP says:

      The trouble is that many people just don’t know about accreditation issues. The world of accreditation is very confusing, and people don’t understand the distinction between state-approved, nationally accredited, and regionally accredited schools. It isn’t something that people are educated about, and frankly, I think that high schools would do well to inform parents and students about the way trade schools and colleges are vetted by state authorities and accreditation agencies.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      People think they are doing the research when they ask the admissions rep if they are able to transfer to the University of Utah. When the admissions rep says “Sure they can. I’ve had a lot of people transfer over there.” you have to take their word for it.

      Have you ever done the research on which schools take which credits? I actually had to apply for school at the University of Utah before I could get anybody to tell me that the credits didn’t transfer. I knew they wouldn’t by that point, but part of my lawsuit was dealing with how impractical it is to expect students to figure this out BEFORE enrolling in class. You can’t expect them to pay a registration fee for every University they may want to attend just to find out if credits from the trade school they are attending are accepted. I’ve seen a lot dumber people attending better schools than Everest, so don’t just assume that because you want to take classes at night that you are stupid.

      • alisonann says:

        I definitely didn’t call you or anyone else who takes night classes stupid. I completed my BA and am currently in my MS with night classes because I work full-time (in an admissions office at another university, incidentally).
        That said, the first thing that comes up on Google when you search University of Utah accreditation is a pretty straightforward answer. http://www.ugs.utah.edu/?pageId=2538
        (And though I assume you’re only talking about viability of the credits themselves, the additional issue of whether a school’s course description matches up with another’s is entirely up to the receiving college, and in many cases does require an application or formal interest in the college, and that is pretty standard practice.)

  13. Max5695 says:

    I admit some of these for-profit colleges seem very dishonest.

    However, not all of them are scams. There are for-profit colleges that offer nursing programs. These programs are expensive, but they train nurses in real classrooms. Nurses have to take a certification exam, in order to become a nurse. So these nursing programs do work, and they do train qualified nurses.

    I attend a for-profit medical college right now. I am in the Pharmacy Technician Program. We have real classrooms and highly qualified teachers. In order to become a certified Pharmacy Technician you have to take a certification exam. Once you pass, you are nationally certified. The program is very good at my college and it has prepared its students very well. My college is accredited by The American Society of Health System Pharmacists. Kaiser Permanente, only will hire technicians who are certified and have passed the exam.

    I admit that my college charges way too much money, but we are highly trained. My college doesn’t accept students without a high school diploma. The college does have high standards. Many students drop out because they simply can’t handle the studying and tough grading. I went to a University of California Campus and the classes there are just as hard as the classes I am taking at my private college. If someone drops out, they don’t get a refund for the classes they have taken. I can see why some angry drop outs might sue a college. However, they are the ones who didn’t study and dropped out. You find drop outs at every school.

    There are high quality for-profit colleges out there for medical professions. You just to have to search for them and make sure they are accredited. For-profit Liberal Arts colleges may be more shady.

    • Frank_Trapasso says:

      Yes, there are for-profit schools that aren’t scamming people. And if you want to pay far more for your degree than you have to, well, let that be proof that the free market does not automatically move toward the most efficient solution.

      I talk to so many freaking unemployed “quasi-medical but not a doctor or a nurse” people. Doctors just want their internship/residency forbearances updated yearly. Nurses want to call you after their shift is over. Neither group has trouble paying.

      People who took medical assistant classes at U of Phoenix, on the other hand….

      • Max5695 says:

        The reason why I chose a private college is that the community colleges in the area that offer my program only take a small number of students. They run a lottery to select students. The state does not provide enough money for community colleges to hire enough teachers for the program. That is why the number of students is capped.

        With a private college, I was able to gain admission to the program right away. I would have had to waited years just to get a space in the local community college program. The local community college’s program is not ASHP accredited. Even if I were to graduate from a community college program, some employers such as Kaiser Permanente would not hire me because the community college’s program is not ASHP accredited. With a community college degree, only some employers might hire you. Many employers want students who have gone through an ASHP accredited program. Only a small number of colleges offer such a rigorous program.

  14. pegasi says:

    there are a great number of “for profit” private colleges that get over 90% of their funding from pell grants and other federal loan sources, yet their rate of successful job placement – defined as placing the graduate in a job in the career for which they trained, not just obtaining any job – is statistically extremely low.

    When the cost of tuition is higher than the expected annual salary of the career field the person is training for, then I question the validity of the training program, and the reasoning behind the cost. Why pay 25k for training that prepares you for a job that pays 19k annually? To pay the loans etc for this back would take decades.

  15. Justinh6 says:

    Is anyone sueing ITT Tech yet?

  16. khooray says:

    I went to Vatterott for 3 months….now I have a debt of over $4,000 that they were supposed to refund the gov’t but didn’t. I can’t get anyone to do anything so I can’t get a loan because I owe the gov’t this money.
    I’m on disability and make $970/mo. I can’t even pay all of my bills each month, much less cough up 4 grand for 3 classes I took in a 3 month period.