When you think of a Christian school the words that come to mind aren’t usually scam, lawsuit, or disrespect for students but apparently this doesn’t apply to Grand Canyon University. The for-profit Christian college has already faced a lawsuit in Phoenix, AZ in regards to claims that the school is a scam with predatory lending practices, high pressure sales tactics, and intentional misrepresentation of facts on federal funding applications. The school was also accused about misrepresenting their job placement, starting salaries for new grads, and the usefulness of their degrees.
For-profit schools are significantly more expensive than their non-profit counterpart and attempts to control enrollment are attempted through regulation of procedures and processes. One such piece of legislation indicates that schools may not use financial incentives for their employees based on the counsellors ability to enroll students but Grand Canyon is alleged to have done just that very thing. This violates the Department of Education’s ban on incentives through enrollment but the school is said to have based salaries on enrollment and pressured, fired, or demoted its employees if they failed to meet their quota.
Another part of the complaint which was filed indicated that Grand Canyon was enrolling students without the necessary prior educational background and that they didn’t even review potential students’ transcripts. Some enrollment officers were said to have forged federal applications pertaining to federal financial aid programs as well as fee waivers, scholarship forms, memos, and admissions documents.
The settlement reached with the complainant resulted in Grand Canyon University paying back $5.2 million to the federal government and Irwin. This didn’t seem to have much effect on attendance as there are as many as 50,000 students in their online and offline programs. Hundreds of complaints appear with the Better Business Bureau and in online forums and while there are some positive comments about the school, the majority of them are negative in nature.
Students who have reviewed the school say it is as paper mill factory which just pumps out as many diplomas as possible without any real concern for standard of education. Administrators and staff are reportedly rude, ignorant, unhelpful, inconsistent and uncaring. Curriculum has been indicates as being inconsistent and not worth the price tag. Grand Canyon has a high employee turnover rate, particularly in the admissions department and these counselors pass the buck, answer vaguely, or don’t get back to students at all. Other complaints about the school are regarding its supposed Christian influence and students say professors, instructors and staff are rather heartless when it comes to health or family emergencies and that they were treated rudely.
While some positive reviews of the school do exist, the number of complaints which call the school a scam and not worth what you paid for it far outnumber these positive comments. Many complaints indicate that students were lied to in regards to their federal financial aid and were told they would be receiving grants, only to find out they were really federal or private student loans.
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