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While many Brown-Mackie College locations still remain open for business, parent company Education Management Corp. has decided to close several of its campuses due to declines in enrollment. Closing locations stopped accepting new applicants January 2015 but will remain open for existing students as part of a Title IV requirement set out by government.
Why have these mega earning companies started seeing enrollment declines? Reputation. Demand for such programs has lost favor due to several factors, the most popular of which involve predatory high-pressure enrollment tactics and inflated job placement figures and salary expectations. While community colleges often offer similar programs for very affordable rates, for-profit schools like Brown-Mackie charge yearly tuition at $25,000 to $27,000 per year. Unfortunately, these programs generally result in entry level jobs in a flooded market and usually in an unrelated position.
Consumers are becoming much more savvy to the ways and dealings of for-profit schools as so many have been sued for fraud, schemes, scams, and misrepresentation. Class action lawsuits and individual lawsuits are common against such companies and Brown-Mackie is no exception to this rule. Between former employees turned whistleblower and consumer reports claiming rip off and scam artist, it is only natural that enrollment will bottom out for many of these schools as time goes on.
Brown-Mackie is accused of lying to students and accreditation boards with its misrepresentation of job prospects and annual salaries for recent graduates. These deceptive practices included listing graduates as successfully placed in some rather strange conditions. Investigators discovered that students were considered successfully placed in their business management degree if they worked as Walmart cashiers, successful in their fashion marketing degree if they worked as a salesperson for a shoe outlet, or even as successful should they graduate with an accounting degree and worked at McDonald’s as a cashier.
Graduates or students attempting to further their education at others school soon learned that credits were not transferrable. High dropout and loan default rates, misleading figures for job placement, and minimum wage positions mean that many students leaving the school find themselves in debt up to their ears and credit damage it will take them decades to recover from. Students must then attempt to further their education by starting from square one…if they have not maxed out their borrowing capabilities through federal student aid programs or through private student loan companies.
Former students are launching class-action and individual lawsuits online and are encouraging others to join class suits to put an end to Brown-Mackie and its predatory misleading practices. While many locations still remain open, it is no mystery as to why many have closed and will come as no surprise when more have to do so in the future. In the meantime, this school is still open for business at multiple locations and continuing to push the same dead-end education on unsuspecting students. The school, on the other hand, claims the campuses that closed did so because there was just less demand for the particular programs they offered.
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