Students who graduated from Northwest College soon found out the hard way that the school had fudged its claims about job placement and how useful the college’s programs would be. Students of the school soon found out that they would not be getting anything remotely related to their job field as no employers accepted it as being a legitimate and worthwhile educational source. Graduating students were so bad off they couldn’t even manage to land an interview, let alone an actual job.
As for accreditation, the school did not have the national accreditation necessary for its ultrasound program student’s to even work in their field. Instructors of the program also failed to properly instruct students within the programs and on-the-job training was also unhelpful. As a result, students leaving the program found they didn’t even know how to do the sonograms by the end of the program. As such, 56 students sued the school for fraud and misrepresentation.
Overstated job placement claims, accreditation misrepresentation, and inflated salary expectations were just the beginning of this nightmare for students. Once accepted into the programs, students found themselves paying $25,000 to $35,000 for a 1 to 1.5 year sonogram technology program they would never be able to use. The school had 2 campuses and offered 10 vocational training programs ranging from an 8 month program at $13,000 to the sonogram program.
The school eventually reached a settlement with the students but dissolved in the meantime. This meant it had no assets or the financial capacity to even pay the settlement which was intended to partially reimburse students for their tuition for while they had attended the ultrasound program. Northwest’s response to the reasoning behind the dissolution and sale of the campuses is that it was all the students fault. Had they not sued the school it would have continued to remain open and that this is the reason why their programs were not being recognized by employers or other educational institutions. Considering that the reason why the students sued was because they were unable to get work, this is highly questionable. The school went so far as to say that these 56 individuals destroyed the education reputation of the school and therefore affected thousands of previously graduated students just so they could make a money grab.
In the end, students were left with substantial federal and private student loan debt they would be forced to carry around…for programs they could do nothing with as no one would recognize them. Graduates were forced to work in unrelated field in minimum wage jobs resulting in default on many loans. When federal financial student aid loans default, it’s left to the taxpayers to cover the amounts. Students are left with atrocious credit, problems borrowing for further education, and often trouble finding jobs due to the habit of employers of checking candidate’s credit prior to hiring for a wide variety of positions. As for Northwest College, it’s safe to say they’ll not be paying that settlement anytime soon.
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