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  • Report: #135774

Complaint Review: AIU Aka American Intercontinental University-Buckhead

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  • Submitted: Sun, March 20, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, March 24, 2005

  • Reported By:Marietta Georgia
AIU Aka American Intercontinental University-Buckhead
3330 Peachtree Rd. N.e. Atlanta, Georgia U.S.A.

AIU Aka American Intercontinental University-Buckhead Ripoff and Conneseurs for Fraud Atlanta Georgia

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Jillian, AIU made poor Carl....The Real Dirt - all sorts of horrifically unethical behavior on the part of admissions folks at AIU

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I'll just make this as short and simple as possible. AIU-Buckhead is a total ripoff. I'm not talking about the online classes, but the school itself.

It all started in Fall 2002 when I decided to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Interior design. I was so excited to start! Well first off, let me state that I am a highschool dropout, so when I actually WANTED to go to school to pursue a career that I would enjoy here is what happened.

1. When I started, I had already gotten my G.E.D. and had passed with flying aces in each subject. It was about a year later I decided to do something with my life besides party. I then payed the application fee of $50.00. After that, there were many problems.

2. There were documents left to be signed (no to mention the ones they lost)by my father, whom was out of town on work, so they didn't mind that too much and said that they could get his signature when he came back into town and they let me take my first class anyway.

3. I applied for a Federal Stafford Loan, but couldn't get it becauuse my father hadn't filed his taxes the year before, as if it were my fault. For three weeks I went to my class and on the third week, Carl(I do not recall his last name),started to bribe me into forging my father's name on documents. He said that I could not continue to take classes unless they were signed, and after days of hesitating I finally gave in. This man actually followed me through the hallways and everything, it was all pretty creepy.

4. There was never ANY mention of how much it would cost for me to go there until I actually went to Financial Aid crying my eyes out. Then they slapped the bill on me, $1,110.00 for ONE class for five weeks. It was then that I told them that I could not attend any of their classes as I was no longer getting any support from either parent and at the age of only 18 I absolutely couldn't afford it myself. I was literally heartbroken and then became very depressed over the entire situation.

5. I went to my teacher and told him that I would no longer be able to attend his class and was totally embarrassed because I was crying my eyes out the entire time. I am a very sensitive person.

6. A few weeks later, I received a bill in the mail for around $1,500, which is even MORE than I was told the class would be! I then started calling them and no one would help me or dispute the bill.

7. About a month passed and of course I wasn't going to pay them the money at all at this point and then bill collectors started calling. The cursed at me and they tried bribing me, but hell no, I wasn't going to give in. I was only there for three weeks, not even attending the class on the last day of the third week.(I was scheduled every Tues. and Thurs.)

8. I started e-mailing state officials until something was done. I even went as far as contacting the state Governer. After that, I never heard anything else from any bill collectors nor the school again. Also, it never even touched my credit, so I don't know what happened, but at the same time I don't really care.

For all of you attending AIU that think that it is just wonderful, good for you, you must all be yuppies that your mommy and daddies pay everything for you. But what about people like me? Now, the one teacher I had there was great and I'll bet a lot of the other professors there are as well, but don't let that fool you. The management is very poor and even more unhelpful. Instead they'd rather you forge documents and try to take you forgranted. Also, if Carl still works there, give him the finger for me.

Jillian
Marietta, Georgia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/20/2005 09:26 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/AIU-Aka-American-Intercontinental-University-Buckhead/Atlanta-Georgia-30326/AIU-Aka-American-Intercontinental-University-Buckhead-Ripoff-and-Conneseurs-for-Fraud-Atla-135774. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Jillian, AIU made poor Carl....The Real Dirt - all sorts of horrifically unethical behavior on the part of admissions folks at AIU

AUTHOR: Sarah - (U.S.A.)

Jillian,

As an ex-employee of AIU, I certainly believe that your account is accurate. I, myself have seen all sorts of horrifically unethical behavior on the part of admissions folks at AIU. Let me also make clear that I left AIU as soon as the truth surfaced about how completely unethical the tactics were. I had worked in proprietary education (for profit schools)for years prior to working at AIU, and I have worked in proprietary education since leaving AIU. I have never encountered anything nearly as ridiculous.

Let's keep in mind that any for-profit school employs a sales staff. Its the nature of the beast. Its a business, and someone has to sell the product, that's just the way it is. There's nothing wrong with that if you encounter an ethical admissions rep who truly motivates you to enroll in school and improve your life. The problem is that a company like CEC (the parent company of AIU) that is traded on the stock exchange is a whole different animal when it comes to high pressure sales tactics. They make impossible promises and projections in a feeble attept to keep stock prices high (gotta keep those stockholders happy). These unreachable quotas are passed down the line until the buck stops with the lowly admissions reps, who, like I said, live in constant fear of losing their jobs.

Let me break down for you how the system works:

-There have been many posts about how high pressure sales tactics get students to enroll, so I won't re-hash all of them. I will say that the majority of students don't stand a chance with a good "rep." A good admissions rep is the epitome of a great salesperson. They are getting you to finance $60,000 and giving you nothing in return but the POSSIBILITY of a better life. Talk about an intangible product. These "high achievers," as they are called at AIU are hustlers. They have not only a natural talent for sales, but years of experience and training in all sorts of clever sales techniques. In fact, the reps are often recruited from other schools with the promise of more money at AIU. In all, its a stacked deck. Like I said, if you encounter one of these "high achievers" you won't even know what hit you. Unfortunatley for students interested in AIU, most of the truly ethical admissions reps out there know better than to work for CEC.

-The real problem at AIU is desperation. Reps are required to make a "24-hour Buyer's Remorse call" (yes, that's what its called). After that your rep, Carl in this case, was harrassed on a daily basis about your "status" (the probability that you will start class). He had to attend high stress meetings about all of his students to determine whether or not you would be "kept on the books" or not. Reps are constantly reminded of their "run rate" or how many students they need to meet with in order to make their quotas. Its all figured out in percentages and probabilities. If you enroll and don't start class that hurts Carl's "show rate." That's something he'd really get berated about.

-There's soooo ,uch more interesting tidbits of information I could share with you. If you are interested, I will divulge them. At this point, I don't wish to run-on too much.

The folks at AIU live in constant fear of their jobs. Everything is based on enrollments and "starts" (a student that starts classes and "sits" for at least two weeks). Failure to meet the quotas means you're out of a job. That's just the way it goes. Carl's just an example of how an otherwise decent person can be driven to do just about anything to avoid ridicule and loss of their employment.

Make no mistake, there is no excuse for unethical behavior, but there are reasons behind it.

Just as an FYI- the most reputable Interior Design and Fashion school in your area is Bauder College (no, I do not work there). I have been there, though, and I think you will find that it is truly a much nicer experience (in terms of dealing with the admissions reps and financial aid anyway).

Hope this helped some.

Cheers.
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