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ITT Technical Institute has built an entire business out of its claims that it is there to “change people’s lives.” As a matter of fact, this for-profit college can honestly say that that’s what it’s doing, just not in the way that most of their students ever would have guessed. ITT is now facing a wave of lawsuits from past students who claim that they were grossly misled by the school’s representatives into believing that they would receive a degree that could land them the job of their dreams. What they landed instead was an incredible amount of student loan debt and an education that is considered a laughingstock by many in their industry.
Very few students who attend ITT Tech are aware that the credits they accumulate at the university are not transferable to any other school, which means that once they are enrolled, they are effectively forced to complete their degree at ITT Tech. Students tell stories of being removed from class at the beginning of every semester in order to meet with a financial aid officer. They are presented with loan documents and told in no uncertain terms that if they don’t sign, they won’t be allowed to return to class. This amounts to extortion, but since most of this school’s students are desperate to get their degree, the school has faced little resistance to this strong-arm tactic over the years.
Both former and current employees of the school claim that the administration’s goal is far from the mission statement that is printed in recruitment brochures. The main goal appears to be to get as many unsuspecting people to enroll as possible, secure in the knowledge that once they’re in, they’ll have little choice but to continue until they graduate. Otherwise, they will be left with high student loan debt and no degree to show for it. Little do they know that a degree from ITT Tech is not generally viewed as something to be desired by those in the technical industry.
Labeled a “degree-mill” by many former students, ITT has shown no signs of changing its ways, in spite of the legal action that has been taken against it over the past few years. Fortunately, it looks as if the clock is running out on a lot of for-profit colleges, which means that ITT Tech could very well be down to the last group of victims that it can fleece.
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