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Online discussion boards and Facebook groups have been filled with former Collins College students who indicate that the college was a scam and committed fraud. One Facebook group in particular is focused on gaining enough members to launch a class action suit against Collins in regards to high pressures sales, predatory loan practices, and misrepresentation. Students attending enrollment appointments were often duped into signing financial documents without their knowledge which were really papers for multiple loans. If they asked for time to look at the papers, students were told that if they didn’t accept the seat immediately it would be given to another student and they wouldn’t get in to the program.
Students were handed inch-thick piles of paper without time to review its contents and ended up signing for high interest loans and several of them. Interest rates on some loans ended up being as high as 18%. Tuition fees and other charges meant that students were paying over $18,000 a year for tuition, or $60,000 for their bachelor’s degree. Most ended up on the line for far more as Collins College had the habit of telling students they had outstanding balances not covered by loans that needed to be paid immediately or they would be dismissed from the program. Students questioning these amounts were threatened with dismissal if they didn’t pay up.
Some students claim that they got called into the financial office only to be told that their loan checks had not been received and that their loans were cancelled. They would then be asked to pay these amounts. When students finally got in contact with the lenders, they were surprised to find that the school had indeed received their loan checks and had cashed every one of them.
If the financial aspects were fishy enough, students entering computer graphics design programs often found the school computers wouldn’t work. At one point there was one computer for every three students in the classroom and students were told they would have no choice but to purchase a specific laptop and specialized software in order to continue. The price tag: $3500. Students found that photography and film equipment was severely outdated and would fail or fall apart during its use. Students would then be charged “equipment neglect” fees to their accounts even though they had not mistreated the equipment in any way.
Dropout rates at this college were substantial. Classes with 20 students or more would be reduced to only 4 or 5 students come the end of the term. When students left the school due to dissatisfaction with the financial aspects, quality of equipment and tools, or quality of instruction, they often found their ship was sunk…no other school would accept credits from the supposedly accredited school. As for job placement promises, many students found their job placements consisted of working at the local Home Depot or McDonald’s and that no employer would hire them with a degree from Collins College. In the end, students were left with staggering loan debts and no jobs to pay for the massive monthly payments on loans they didn’t even know they’d taken out.
If you have questions or comments, please chat in the comments below or on the ChallengeStudentDebt Twitter handle.
If you feel you were defrauded by the school you attended or you are being treated poorly as a distressed borrower by your creditors, take the free challenge debt review to find out what options you have regarding your student loans.