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redatory sales practices, fraud, and scamming students are what has hit the fan for Westwood College, a for-profit institution who targeted vulnerable students trying to better their lives. Enrollment counsellors hit students with high pressure sales tactics, misleading information, inaccurate job placement and salary projections in order to boost enrollment at their college. Students who bit the bait ended up with severely overpriced degrees, defaulted federal and private student loans, and no jobs to pay them with.
Students involved in class action lawsuits against Westwood College lodged their lawsuit and complaints that enrollment advisors were much like shady used car dealers and not professionals working in an educational environment. If students questioned tuition, enrollment, or business practices of Westwood College, enrolment advisors would goad them into enrolling by stating they lacked the commitment necessary to better their future or complete an education in their institution.
Job prospects and baseline salaries used to entice potential students were nothing but scams and fraud. Many students were told they would be earning upwards of $65,000 per year within 3 years of graduation but this proved to be nothing more than a sick joke. Perhaps if you added up all of the income from the 2-3 minimum wage jobs former students were forced to work at to pay their loans back it might come close to this amount over a 3 year period. Students claim that they are unable to gain jobs in their field with their degree or diploma which amounts to fire starter material with a $65,000 price tag.
When students looked surprised at the price tag of their degree, financing officials at the school told them this amount was nothing to worry about as the majority of it would be paid with scholarships and grants. Students were told only small balances would trickle over into federal or private student loans and that Westwood College would help them get all the financing they required to complete the program. If students were originally shocked at the pricetags, they were doubly so when they found out there were no grants or scholarships as the school was unaccredited and the total amount of their degree had been taken out in student loans. When the college replied to the lawsuit filed for predatory practices, they claimed they, themselves, were a victim of a predatory law firm and that their high student satisfaction meant the class action lawsuit was unwarranted. The fact that over 800 former students contacted the supposedly predatory law firm to join the suit proves Westwood College’s claim of being victimized was just another one of their lies.
Students exiting the program and unable to find work often attempted to begin further education to increase their prospects only to find out none of their Westwood College credits were transferrable. Due to the majority of students having reached maximum federal student loan amounts and poor credit and income, students were ineligible for private student loans and were forced to work in unrelated minimum wage fields. While the government has enacted legislation intended to crack down on predatory for-profit schools and plenty of investigations are taking place, those left with their expensive piece of paper and loans in default are not feeling encouraged.
Westwood College former and current student reviews state that this college employs unprofessional, uncaring administrators and instructors who often treated them rudely. Many complaints about loan amounts ending up in third party collections before they were even made aware they owed anything are splattered all over consumer review websites. Students indicate that no school or employer in their state would even recognize their education with Westwood College leaving them stuck between a rock and a hard place. For a website who’s slogan is “Degree of Certainty,” the only thing students can be certain of attending this school is that they’d be better off flushing their money down the toilet along rather than attend Westwood College.
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