University of Phoenix may toot its horn declaring it is a great, convenient, work-at-your-own-pace education provider but that song they’re playing is beginning to fall on deaf ears. The volume of complaints, lawsuits, investigations, and poor reviews by current and former students is downright staggering.
A 2009 lawsuit settlement saw UOP forking over $78.5 million in settlements but the battle rages on for those not part of that lawsuit or those who have been bilked and defrauded of their federal and private student loan moneys. Students who are forced to ditch the program as well as those who manage to graduate, are often left stuck with debt at about 4 times the amount of similar education with not-for-profit model school or public school. Two former employees turned whistleblower alerted the federal government about University of Phoenix’s scams and fraud may have gained the attention of some government bodies but this doesn’t seem to have caused any real impact.
These whistleblowers claimed that military personnel on GI bills, low-income students, and students who lacked the educational achievements to get into the program were all herded like sheep for the slaughter. The claim that enrollment counsellors were paid based on the total number of students enrolled and that their jobs were threatened repeatedly to get their numbers up is rather shocking when you look at those lovely ads everywhere. UOP even has its very own page designed to recruit and target veterans, disabled military service people, and active soldiers who receive federal education funding. Students who don’t qualify for various federal loans designed to help those in need are often charged significantly higher tuition or are disqualified.
Students who were accepted to University of Phoenix’s programs without enough educational background often found they were unable to keep up with the program, had no choice but to drop out, and are still stuck paying the loans. With dropout rates of over 60% and 1 in 4 students in federal or private student loan default, one has to ask why this school is still running.
Graduating students have found that finding a job with their degree (often quadruple the price of a degree at another school) is nearly impossible. Employers do not take degrees from University of Phoenix seriously due to their enrollment practices, dropout rates, default rates, and poor quality education. Those trying to transfer to a more reputable school soon find out that their credits are non-transferrable even though the school claims it’s accredited.
University of Phoenix fraud and scam practices have resulted in an incredible number of lawsuits, investigations, and the school has even been kicked out of the state of California. Lawsuits by former students, former employees, and even their own shareholders have been, or are, on the books. Investigations by multiple government bodies are taking a close work at nearly every aspect of this school’s operations, business practices, and enrollment practices.
If the number of lawsuits and investigations weren’t voluminous enough, the complaints by former and current students online which number in the thousands are sure to be. Student complaints indicate that they were triple charged for classes they never took, that their program changed mid-degree and they had to begin again, that professors and instructors were rude, and that documents they signed which were supposed to be for grants were really for loans. Complaints by students that they are now $50,00-100,000 in debt and not one will hire them and that their wages are being garnished for fees charged that there are no explanation for make up only a few of the statements, reviews, and claims to be found online.
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.