Unless you’re a hermit named Dave who lives in a cave you’ve undoubtedly seen TV or Internet commercials for online, for-profit schools that promise to train you for today’s jobs and guarantee that once you graduate, they will help you find work. I had wondered about the value of these schools until I ran into an article yesterday that pretty much answered that question for me.
The article was basically the story of one couple who got two-year associates degrees from one of those proprietary online schools. The woman who had been struggling at a community college was convinced by the school’s recruiter to sign up for a CAD (computer-aided design) and drafting program. Her husband also decided to enroll.
They were told that the construction industry was booming and that they would probably have jobs before they even graduated. The couple was also told that the school’s career center would work endlessly until they were both placed in jobs.
Their degrees were basically worth nothing
The two of them graduated in 2009. However, once they got out into the job market they discovered their degrees was essentially worth nothing. They found that companies just weren’t hiring people unless they had bachelors degree. The woman reported that not one company even looked seriously at their applications. They also discovered that they could not finish off with a bachelors degree in another school without starting all over because nonprofits and public schools generally do not accept credits from proprietary schools like the one they had attended.
While the school’s careers center promised to send the couple job leads on a weekly basis, they soon found that the openings were totally out of their field. For example, they would get leads for temporary work with the circus when it was in town or part time positions as bank tellers.
$90,000 in debt
This couple is now paying off nearly $90,000 in student loans. They wish they had gone to a community college because they believe they would have gotten the same education for much less money. And it would have been easy for them to go on to a bachelors degree because their credits would transfer.
The critics of these for-profit colleges say that this story is no anomaly. The entire industry is plagued by bad recruiting practices that get students into programs available elsewhere for a lot less money. The students often end up borrowing thousands and thousands of dollars to be in these schools, only to find that their degrees were worthless and that they couldn’t transfer their credits–like the couple in the article I read. They can’t return to school for useful training because they had racked up so much debt. They are basically trapped in that they owe more than they can repay, can’t change the situation and are at risk for ruined credit, garnished wages and having their income tax refunds seized.
For-profit schools have been plagued by lawsuits, media reports and investigations by the government. The problem is generally the same–over enthusiastic recruitment techniques that ensnare students with deceitful promises and then leave them 0with loan payments that they cannot afford. Federal authorities have also been questioning the quality of career-college educations because of the dropout rate for people who enrolled in 4-year programs at these schools. For example, one study showed that 57% of people who enrolled in these schools between July 2008 and June 2009 had already dropped out. And in one three-year span, 1.9 million students dropped out from these schools with basically nothing to show for their time and money except student loan debt.
Where we can help
Here at Debt Consolidation USA we can’t help with government provided student loan debt. But if you used credit cards to finance your education, we can. Our debt relief providers should be able to help you get out of debt in 24 to 48 months and with a repayment plan you can afford. Call us today for more information or fill out the form for a free debt savings analysis.