I wish that all the negative consumer experiences with AIU Online had been published when I was doing my research back in 2001, before I enrolled in a Bachelor's program there. For almost $30,000 I have an inadequate education that is much disrespected by employers, not simply because it was gotten online (though that is part of it) but also because if failed to teach me the things a Bachelor of Information Technology is expected to know.
When I was first contacted by an 'advisor', and I use that term ONLY because that's what THEY call themselves, I told him my goal was to be a database programmer. He said AIU's IT program would equip me with the tools I needed to do that. Now that I have my degree and have repeatedly contacted AIU, BBB, and consumer advocacy programs, I've learned he didn't put me in a programming course of study, as AIU Online only had ONE Information Technology program and it was networking, not programming based.
This would explain why most my classes seemed out of place to me. I mentioned this fact to my ever-changing 'counselor', again, a loose term, and he said it was part of the general part of the program. But the program never got any more specific to what I intended to study: database programming. There was only one course that dealt specifically with database programming, and I believe one other that dealt with programming in general.
During my 14 month study with AIU Online, I had 3 counselors. I actually asked them to change the first, because he called my job several times and then had the gall to tell my supervisor that if I did not call back they were going to kick me out of the program. The next counselor I had contact with for 2-3 months before I sent him an email that he didn't respond to. I called and he didn't respond.
Finally I called the general number and was told my counselor had been changed without my knowledge. That the old one was no longer with AIU Online. (Side note: When a later problem came up and I called the general number, I got that old counselor. He WAS with AIU Online and was in fact a manager!) I was given the new counselor's name. This hunting down process took a month or more, when I had life-changing news to report, that I was pregnant and was going to be a single mom.
When I finally talked to the counselor, she was non-plussed and very unhelpful, she actually asked, "When will you be having your baby?" As if it was something you plan for a particular day! There was no change in my financial aid package despite the fact that my status had now changed from a dependent student to independent with a dependent. They didn't want to give me much time off for giving birth and tending to a newborn.
After my son came early, I actually had to provide them with a note from his pediatrician stating that for the next three months I would be unable to attend to my studies because I would be attending to a needy preemie. They gave me one five-week session off.
The financial aid was a mess when it came to my second term. Everyone had a different answer to the same questions of how much it cost, how much I owed, how much I was eligible for. And my counselor was clueless about the entire process always referring me to the financial advisors.
Now, to the actual education I received which is the REAL root of the problem, else I may have just written all the other problems off. AIU Online is a glorified (and very expensive) degree mill. My textbooks were very varied, teaching me a little about a lot of things instead a lot about a few things as a concentrated degree study is supposed to do. When I complained to AIU about this, they actually told me that was their intention with the program, that it was to be a broad overview.
Since when is a Bachelors degree a broad overview? It's supposed to be an area specific concentrated study. The only recompense that AIU has offered me is two MORE sessions, and saying they would be free of charge. I consider it a slap in the face that I waste $30,000 and they want to give me more crappy classes at a fraction of that worth.
I need help! I'd like to recoup some of the fortune I spent. And it is a fortune to a single mom. I DID my research before I started AIU Online, but they misled me saying they were accredited since they were (and still are) on probation by their accredidation agency, SACS. They have continued infractions in several different areas with SACS that they have refused to fix. The admissions advisors aren't advisors at all, they're salesmen getting bonuses and rewards for the more students they enroll.
I have read other consumers rip-off reports for AIU, and I've also read the suspicious rebuttals singing AIU's praises. I say suspicious because they sound eerily like AIU brochures, not like the average people writing comments. We can tell the difference!
Anyone out there who can help, please do, I'm about at my wit's end, and I can't get any more financial help to get a real education because I owe so much already and am considered to have a degree.