Computer Systems Institute’s claims turned out to be nothing more than a catchy list of opposites the school would rip its students off with. From statements that their institution provided ample class and lab time that in reality were only once a week to state-of-the-art equipment that was indeed so…in 1995, the school’s list of lies was expansive. The school also claimed to be accredited but never bothered to explain to unknowing students what they were actually accredited for or what that meant. Students walked in expecting delivery of promises, only to find all they were getting was their pockets emptied.
This school may have had its policies and processes in place enough to get accredited but the school lacked the accreditation necessary for its course credits to be transferrable with other schools. Students who signed up learned the hard when if they tried to transfer or have their course with Computer Systems Institute recognized if they decided to further their education.
The school was offering Associates Degrees to students when they had not been approved to award them. Job placement programs were also a scam as the school simply syphoned job prospects from online job banks like monster.com and didn’t provide any actual assistance. This was included as a service but was something the general public could have used for free without the school so it was of no added value.
The school offers three programs, all of which are seriously overpriced. Actually accredited community colleges offering similar programs charged only $2,500 tuition for their program while Computer Systems Institute’s tuition ranged from $11,500 to $12,500. These programs also provided subpar learning environments and instructed making them less valuable overall even though they were five times more expensive. The company was founded in 1989 and lays claim to over 10,000 graduates and is eligible for Title IV funding. This means the company was able to accept students who qualified for federal student loan programs.
Whistleblowers reported that the school as ripping off low-income students launched lawsuits in effort to cease Computer Systems Institute’s predatory practices targeted at those in need. In 2006, the school was receiving only $161,000 in Title IV funds but once predatory practices were implemented that yearly amount skyrocketed to $18 million for the 2011-2012 school year.
Whistleblowers claimed that the school was violating existing rules which were created to protect low-income students and taxpayers against scam schools but the institute was circumventing these rules. One such claim states that enrollment officials were receiving financial incentives based on their ability to enroll students, which is not legal, and these offers were often threatened with termination if their quotas weren’t met. This meant that the school was targeting low-income federal financial aid students as its main source of income. Former employees also claim they were micromanaged and treated poorly and that students also had to face the same ill treatment on a regular basis.
Computer Systems Institute lured its students into enrolling through the use of predatory and high-pressure sales tactics which told impoverished students they would be working in lucrative jobs at the end of their programs. Unfortunately, most students found this to be a rip-off scam the hard way and most are stuck working in jobs earning only $9-12 per hour with large student loan debts for their efforts.
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