It's Time "FOR PROFIT" Universities Pay Up for Their Students!
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I am a United States Air Force veteran, that left my career in the Service behind to pursue my collegiate education, and improve my life and lifestyle...even more. I was referred by a vet to attend a for-profit university as an adult student that had been out of school for quite a while. Thanks to my service, and the G.I. Bill, I completed my undergraduate degree with joy and happiness in my heart, for this long-awaited accomplishment.
I got out into the work world, and found transitioning to be a struggle with little to no related work experience in my field of study. So, I pursued my post-grad degree with the same institution, and for the last four years of trying to complete a degree that should have only taken 2 years, it's been a complete and total nightmare. And, it's come to my attention that many other students are going through this.
For-profit universities are taking tuition loan money from the government, putting students in massive debt and depression, and leaving them with nothing to show for it...not even the education they were promised and sold. This must stop!
I attended a for-profit college, headquartered in Downers Grove, IL, called DeVry University from 2011-2015. After achieving my undergrad degree and nearly completing my Grad degree, short of two courses, I was wrongfully dismissed from the institution due to my GPA temporarily falling below 3.0.
I was dismissed because I needed to retake a math course which I struggled with during two attempts. After being approved to retake the course one more time by the campus’s Dean, the school headquarters sent me a casual email stating I could no longer attend the school due to the drop in GPA.
STAY TUNED, BECAUSE THIS GETS INTERESTING…
This has happened to numerous students that were just short of graduating...they were kicked out without a word...just an email notification after attending the school for years. In my situation, no one called or spoke to me. Little did I know that DeVry University was amidst a class action suit for false advertising, and closing many smaller campuses around the country; including the one which I was attending in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Because of this dismissal, after being approved to retake the math course, I was forced to attend another school to complete my Grad degree. The new for-profit university did not accept most of my credits from DeVry; and I have been forced to start over the majority of my education. I have since run out of financial aid to complete the degree- short of two courses I need… once again.
This is happening to many students that attend for-profit universities, and I know for sure is has happened to students that attended the same DeVry campus I once did. As students, we pay them up to $50,000 for a single degree, and then the school starts shutting campuses down, and throwing students out for trivial reasons and without adequate notice… just short of completing their last 2 or 3 classes. This is both malicious and socially irresponsible, and cannot be permitted by our government and its education laws.
How can I, and other students like myself, that have gone over $100,000 in student debt, with no degree to show find justice?
Well… In addition, these for-profit institutions force students to take the same courses to complete their degree plan, with only 1 or fewer electives. If the student struggles in one particular course, there is no substitute. The student has no choice but to give up all hope of completing their degree due to the one course in which they struggle. In the majority of situations I have experienced, that course is irrelevant to the degree, and is only required to meet some kind of policy requirement of the institution.
This shows that they do not care about the student… enough. These for-profit institutions have so many students across the globe attending at their dozens of campuses and online, that their representatives cannot keep track, let alone make contact with a student directly that may be struggling with a specific course, or that is near to being “kicked out” of the institution because of it.
It makes little to no sense for a student to average a B grade which equates to a 3.0 GPA, then slightly falls below because of one or two classes, just to be approved to retake those classes with a tutor- but then gets thrown out of the school via email the week the classes begin. The only follow-up comes from a student advisor via email, that states he is sorry about that, and didn’t know it was going to happen. Wow, thanks for nothing! What if this happened to you?
Now, the student shuffles and struggles to pick up where they left off with another one of these for-profit universities, that fails to take on the majority of credits earned from the other one. Has this happened to you? What if it did? How would you feel when you look at your credit report, and still cannot attain a job requiring an advanced education?
Another $50,000 down the drain with another for-profit school, and still I have no degree to show for it, as DeVry sucked up most of the financial aid and threw me out of the school for failing Mathematical Statistics- and had the audacity to send me a bill for $40.00. Who knows what that is for? But along with my massive tuition debt, the $40.00 is also on my credit report now. Still…where is the degree? Where is the justice for students, that mean well to achieve their education, but the for-profit educational institutions, whom we trusted, are standing in our way.
Now with Strayer University, headquarters in Washington D.C., I struggle to complete my final two courses with very little financial aid remaining to cover the costs. Strayer University expects me, a student, to pay the balance of $837.00 in the first month of each remaining course to continue in it. Heck, without my degree, I barely earn that much on the job after taxes. It appears to be a cruel system, not in favor of the student at all.
Strayer University has attempted to improve their educational processes. They have lowered the required GPA to 2.5. But… for students that had to repeat these expensive courses over and over, it means nothing, as the change is NOT RETROACTIVE to those courses. You see, they probably received a ‘C’ or 2, which is fine at other schools, but a ‘C’ grade is considered a fail at these for-profit institutions. So, if you’re massively in debt because you got a few C’s, then that’s too bad. The school refuses to refund these students, or apply those old grades to their current transcripts. They refuse, because they show no interest in the well-being and success of the students!
Why not add that $837.00 X 2 to my final debts, and allow me to pay after graduation, when I start my career. That’s how student loans work, correct? Of course they won’t do it this way! That would make too much sense, and be too favorable for the student. The classes are mostly online at these for-profit institutions. They are taking advantage of us students, with very little overhead costs for them to consume. They are a money machine, sucking the life out us good people that simply want a higher education to make a better life for ourselves.
They are taking advantage of adult students, and military vets, like myself, which is cruel and socially irresponsible. I am looking at my credit report, depressed and overwhelmed, wondering if after spending/wasting the last seven years in college, I will have anything good to come out of my life at all.
The two non-profit universities I have attended refuse to answer to me- but a class action suit, which also directs our frustration to the local governments… will be heard and acknowledged… once and for all.
This petition is to get their attention, and get them to make positive changes for the student… and not just for the institution and its shareholders’ wallets.
WE WANT OUR DEGREES! OR… SEND OUR TUITION MONEY BACK WHERE IT CAME FROM! .
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