• Report: #13768

Complaint Review: Art Instruction Schools

  • Submitted: Mon, February 11, 2002
  • Updated: Fri, May 11, 2012

  • Reported By:Pgh. Pa.
Art Instruction Schools
3309 Broadway Street NE Minneapolis, Minnesota U.S.A.

Art Instruction Schools of Minneapolis Minnesota is a ripoff

*Consumer Comment: FAILURE TO READ THE TERMS IS NOT CONSIDERED A "RIP-OFF"

*General Comment: ART INSTRUCTION SCHOOLS COMMENT

*Consumer Comment: I SCORED A 89 ON THE TEST AND I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO... IF THIS IS A SCAM I DONT GOT THE MONEY TO PAY FOR IT ANYWAYS BUT IT WOULD BE NICE TO RECIEVE HELP FOR SOMEONE WHO CANT AFFORD TO MAKE THT CASH

*Consumer Comment: I Got What I Paid For -- Even 33 Years Ago!

*Consumer Comment: I Got What I Paid For -- Even 33 Years Ago!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: It is no Rip Off! read the agreement ...contact the school

*Consumer Comment: Art Instruction School

*Consumer Comment: POTENTIAL ART MAILORDER SCAM!

*Consumer Suggestion: Are you sure you are blaming the correct person

*Consumer Comment: Art Instruction Schools Wonderful!

*Consumer Comment: it worked for me

*UPDATE Employee: Art Instruction Schools is on the Up and Up

*UPDATE Employee: Art Instruction Schools is on the Up and Up

*UPDATE Employee: Art Instruction Schools is on the Up and Up

*UPDATE Employee: Art Instruction Schools is on the Up and Up

*Consumer Comment: know your facts!

*Consumer Comment: Teach your kid responsibility

*Consumer Comment: art instruction schools is not a ripoff

*Consumer Comment: art instruction schools is not a ripoff

*Consumer Suggestion: Nonsense

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Beware!!!! Folks
I know how much we all want to nurture our children.
I've had an experience with the Art Instruction Schools that really makes me wary about ever signing a contract for services again.

In july of 2001 my daughter submitted some really awesome drawings to this school and was chosen from many in our area in Pa.to enroll in their instruction.

I did indeed sign a contract for services to be deducted from my credit card in the amount of 105.00 per month.

The total cost to me for 27 assignments is 2,060.00 dollars.
This was fine for me as I really wanted my daughter to receive a certificate from this school for college credits completed.
Unfortunately my daughter lost interest in the school like many children do.

I was informed by my credit card company that I ought to write a letter to them and they would cancel my contract immediately.
Well I did as I was instructed.

Believing that I would pay a prorated amount according to the assignments she had completed this is only fair.

So if the daughter completed 7 assignments and supplies I would be paying about 660.00 plus supplies that were given to her 75.00 which would bring my total to 735.00.

I received a letter in the mail that I would be charged for half of the total assignments and I had paid 963.50 Half would be a total of 1,255.00 to pay in full.

I am very disappointed and dissatisfied.
I have no recourse since the payments are automatically made via my credit card.

So before you want to try and enrich your childs interests,think twice. these people pray on a parents weakness and that is wanting the very best for our children!

Kimberly
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/11/2002 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Art-Instruction-Schools/Minneapolis-Minnesota-55413-1745/Art-Instruction-Schools-of-Minneapolis-Minnesota-is-a-ripoff-13768. 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 Consumer Comment

FAILURE TO READ THE TERMS IS NOT CONSIDERED A "RIP-OFF"

AUTHOR: syykkogrl - (United States of America)

I would just like to say that your failure to thouroughly read the contract/terms of the agreement that you signed with this school does not qualify the SCHOOL as a rip-off.  The fact that your child "lost interest" and just CHOSE to no longer continue the course is not the school's fault or responsibility. 

Even a community college has a deadline as to when you can withdraw from classes and still be eligible for a partial refund.  It is written in the contract that you are required to sign prior to attending.  It is important that you be aware of exactly what you are signing and ALL of the terms involved.

As a prospective student myself, I am fully aware that the terms of the contract state just that.  Since I am aware of those terms, having READ the paperwork, I will not be surprised in the event I am unable, for some reason, to complete the courses.  However, my mother brought us up with very strong commitment values, and once we made commitments, regardless of WHAT they may be, my mother REQUIRED us to fulfill our obligations whether it be school, extracurricular activities, work, or any other activity.  For example, if we started playing a sport, we were NOT allowed to simply QUIT, without good reason, mid-season.  We owed it to our team members and to our coaches to finish the remainder of that season.  "Losing interest" was NOT an acceptable reason for dropping out of ANY commitment that we had made.  

Perhaps instead of bad-mouthing a school with a considerably good reputation by all valid accounts, you should be more aware of your own faults in the matter and take responsibility for them.  It is not teaching your child a thing to blame others for your failure to fully read & understand terms that are clearly written in the contract, nor, is it productive to show her that there is no consequence for losing interest in a commitment and deciding to just drop it altogether instead of pushing forward to complete at least the half of it you KNOW ahead of time you are responsible for. 

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#2 General Comment

ART INSTRUCTION SCHOOLS COMMENT

AUTHOR: soccergirl - (United States of America)

you know, folks.. i managed to get a small scholarship out of this art school, and as many of you know, we all feel we deserve more then that. i feel whatever result we have. the reason of this school is to teach us and make us better artists in such a competive world. I always try to tell myself, if other people dont value you for your skills, you need to continue and be the best... its my dream and its all of your dreams also!!! so, just take the classes. SHOW THE WORLD WHAT YOU GOT!!! MAKE THOSE DIFFICULT ART DREAMS A REALITY!!!! WORK HARD AND DO IT!!!!  
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#3 Consumer Comment

I SCORED A 89 ON THE TEST AND I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO... IF THIS IS A SCAM I DONT GOT THE MONEY TO PAY FOR IT ANYWAYS BUT IT WOULD BE NICE TO RECIEVE HELP FOR SOMEONE WHO CANT AFFORD TO MAKE THT CASH

AUTHOR: .CLEVER:. - (United States of America)

I SCORED AN 89 ON MY TEST FOR THE SCHOOL IF I HAD TWO POINTS MORE I COULD HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED FOR A SCHOLARSHIP(91-100) NOW THT I LOOKED THIS REPORT UP IM WONDERING IF ITS TRUE. I MEAN EVEN IF I HAD A CHANCE TO LEARN SOMETHIN NEW FROM THIS SCHOOL IM NOT RICH AND NEITHER ARE MY PARENTS TO PUT ME THROUGH THIS BUT IF I DID HAVE THE MONEY I THINK ID GET THE CLASSES ANYWAYS I MEAN U LEARN AT THE CONFORT OF UR HOME AND HAVE PATIENCE WITH UR ART I THINK I DID PRETTY GOOD ON THE TEST I HAD ALOT OF DETAIL AND I THOUGHT ID GET A BIGGER SCORE I DONT KNO I THOUGHT MAYBE ID HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE SOMETHIN OF MY TALENT BECAUSE IM NOT EVEN IN SCHOOL ANYMORE IM WONDERING WHAT WILL BE OF MY FUTURE ANY GOOD ADVICE WOULD BE APPRECIATED IF U KNOW ANY OTHER SCHOOLS OR OPPORTUNITIES REGARDING ART 
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#4 Consumer Comment

I Got What I Paid For -- Even 33 Years Ago!

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

Reading contracts are so important!

In 8th grade I was playing around with a magazine and drew the deer's head. My sister-in-law came across the drawing and sent it in without my knowledge. At that time, I received a letter that I was too young to participate in the program (since I was under 16 at the time).

When my 16th birthday came around a sales rep called to see if I was interested. I was, but my parents initially declined setting up an appointment. After they had time to talk, they had me call the rep and set up an appointment. When he came out, both my parents were present. They agreed that if I was willing to pay the monthly installments (I started working a month before my 16th b-day), they would give me the down payment as my birthday present. We selected the commercial art training and my parents gave me the $50 down payment.

In 1972, that was a lot of money. That left me to pay the remaining $800 via $25 monthly installments. It took me until I graduated high school to pay for the course (and to complete it because various HS activities distracted me). Periodically, my dad did ask where I was in the progress of completing the course, but overall, it was my responsibility to police myself and schedule my time.

As far as the information the school provided, it was solid. Much of the information I've used over the past 33 years. I carried around the Instruction binders until 2000 when I finally got rid of them before a major move (but right now, I would like to have them back).

I never tried to transfer my credits, but they're accredited as a Distance Learning Program according to the government's accreditation website. When I initially went off to college I went to a liberal arts college. Because the college didn't have a commercial art program, I didn't consider seeing if any of the credits would transfer, period.

There is a lot to be said about holding a child responsible for the choices they make, even after it's lost "the fun". My parents allowed me to pursue a course of action that I wanted to take at the time, but also made me accountable for it. My age helped and I am glad that the school wasn't interested in having me pursue the course until I met a minimum age requirement.

There are usually local programs at the Y or a community center or if you're in a larger city, the local art museum that have classes geared to the younger artist. (My neighbor in grade school was a high school art instructor who encouraged me.) Those programs are where young artists should start.
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#5 Consumer Comment

I Got What I Paid For -- Even 33 Years Ago!

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

Reading contracts are so important!

In 8th grade I was playing around with a magazine and drew the deer's head. My sister-in-law came across the drawing and sent it in without my knowledge. At that time, I received a letter that I was too young to participate in the program (since I was under 16 at the time).

When my 16th birthday came around a sales rep called to see if I was interested. I was, but my parents initially declined setting up an appointment. After they had time to talk, they had me call the rep and set up an appointment. When he came out, both my parents were present. They agreed that if I was willing to pay the monthly installments (I started working a month before my 16th b-day), they would give me the down payment as my birthday present. We selected the commercial art training and my parents gave me the $50 down payment.

In 1972, that was a lot of money. That left me to pay the remaining $800 via $25 monthly installments. It took me until I graduated high school to pay for the course (and to complete it because various HS activities distracted me). Periodically, my dad did ask where I was in the progress of completing the course, but overall, it was my responsibility to police myself and schedule my time.

As far as the information the school provided, it was solid. Much of the information I've used over the past 33 years. I carried around the Instruction binders until 2000 when I finally got rid of them before a major move (but right now, I would like to have them back).

I never tried to transfer my credits, but they're accredited as a Distance Learning Program according to the government's accreditation website. When I initially went off to college I went to a liberal arts college. Because the college didn't have a commercial art program, I didn't consider seeing if any of the credits would transfer, period.

There is a lot to be said about holding a child responsible for the choices they make, even after it's lost "the fun". My parents allowed me to pursue a course of action that I wanted to take at the time, but also made me accountable for it. My age helped and I am glad that the school wasn't interested in having me pursue the course until I met a minimum age requirement.

There are usually local programs at the Y or a community center or if you're in a larger city, the local art museum that have classes geared to the younger artist. (My neighbor in grade school was a high school art instructor who encouraged me.) Those programs are where young artists should start.
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

It is no Rip Off! read the agreement ...contact the school

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

If you would have read the agreement that you got with AIS you would have seen that in some states they require to be half and full pay, but with other states you can choose not to pay the extra and not worry. If you have such strong feelings about this then you should have contacted the school and explained it to them to get out of paying anything extra. I am a student with the school and I have seen nothing wrong with the program and this just seems to be a lack of attention to information on your part.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Art Instruction School

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

I begged my parents to enroll me in the art instruction school when I was 13. So they let me have a sales person come meet with us and sign me up. My parents didnt have a lot of money but they really wanted to encourage my love for art. Within weeks I got a huge box of supplies and my first set of assignmments.

I loved learning at my own pace and it really did teach me a lot. I admit it took me 4 years to almost finish. But at the end of my deadline a flood distroyed all of my stuff in my parents garage while I was away in job corp, then my dad died. I called up the school and they extended my deadline date and I finally finished.

I finished because I felt an obligation to actually complete this task I started years before and because I felt like I would disapoint my parents for letting go of my dream. I went to transfer my credits but couldnt because I wasnt taking art as one of my majors. As far as I know the credits are transferrable and infact that is one of the reasons why my parents agreed to let me do it in the first place.

It all depends on the school you wish to transfer them to and whether or not they will accept them. I personally feel that the skills it taught me were very valuable in nurturing my growing talent. I still use the techniques today.
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#8 Consumer Comment

POTENTIAL ART MAILORDER SCAM!

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

Hello everyone,

I'm an artist with some advanced training in formal Minneapolis art schools. I'm not absolutely sure about the ethics of the people who run the Art Instruction Schools of Minneapolis.

However, having dealt for some time with 'elite' Minneapolis art instructors, I can say one thing in general, "Don't trust them, or their advanced students for that matter, for nothin'!"

Again, this doesn't imply that this particular mailorder art school, or all art instructors and artists are criminal organizations or individuals. I've been told that this mailorder school can give one a substantial, perhaps better art education than one recieves at most, 'Minneapolis' higher art institutions. I'm talking the 'U','A.I.' and 'Atliers.'

And the same applies everywhere else in other cities. The last are technically the best artists, bare non, but as people are questionable at best. If you want a real, substantial education in art, talk to them, 'if you can stand the egotistical oppression.'

This particular mailorder organization in question may have been started as a means of coping and competing with the otherwise 'virtually' criminal schools of higher art education. I'm sure some of the mailorder instructors know exactly what I'm speaking of. The art, sic., community tends to be very competitive and bad to begin with. All artists, and particularly art schools and their instructors, should therefore be taken into consideration as liars, including potentially myself.

What you read here could be lies, perpetrated by one school on another. The original message could be a fake! It probably isn't, but...

Make sure whatever you do to gain an art education, that you thoroughly check out all options, and know what you want out of art education to start with. Few artists out there ever get recognized, and most lack even basic skills necessary to produce high quality art. This last statement includes myself. Believe me, you're better off spending your money by mailorder, then attending classes that teach you nothing in a higher acedemic setting.

So many artists graduate from big schools each year, and few ever develop into high quality, I like to use the word, 'artisans,' because that's ultimately what one should become. They should gain a high degree of skill through education, not some gobbly-goop liberal arts half-truth. Hey, you go to an atilier for a week, and you'll likely learn more than you would for years at a big school. Not only that, but if you don't like their classical style, you'll still be able to produce high quality art of another style, any time you want. I believe however, that art is one of the most important things a person can become skilled at.

It's worth the education, no matter the risk or outlay. I believe art ultimately applies to all other aspects of life. To be an artist can free one. Still, the moral of this tirade,as with most other aspects of life 'BEWARE!'
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

Are you sure you are blaming the correct person

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

I am writing in response to the comment abouth the Art Instruction School being a rip off! I am a graduate of the Art school, and I personally have obtained a great amount of knowledge from the school! I think as the mother and the responsible party who signed the contract should have made sure through the company, what the terms were if the child changed there mind about the program, as we all know children ca be all for something one day and have no intrest the next. In my opinion it's not the schools fault, nor the childs, It is the mothers lack of research that caused this issue.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Art Instruction Schools Wonderful!

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

I have had NO complaints at all about the Art Instruction School in Minneapolis, MN. I have been taking the correspondence course since the summer of 2001 and I have found the staff and the art teachers to be VERY helpful. This place IS NOT A RIP OFF! The complainant sounds like she needs to start putting the blame where the blame belongs and that is on her child's irresponsibility! I say BRAVO to the Art Instruction School. I would recommend the place to anyone who wants to refine their innate artistic ability.
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#11 Consumer Comment

it worked for me

AUTHOR: Rachael - (Germany)

I just wanted to respond to the comments about Art Instruction Schools. My grandparents put me through this school because they wanted to see me increase my artistic abilities.....and it worked! I was living in Texas at the time and after graduating, I was able to publish several political cartoons in the Shreveport Times newspaper. It was the proudest moment of my life and I thank Art Instruction Schools for the instruction, care, and (very helpful) critique of my art.

Just a word to the mother that wrote this report: my grandparents knew about the terms of the contract and constantly encouraged me to finish. Even when I got a little 'tired' of it, I WANTED to finish...because I knew I was responsible to make my grandparents proud of me; and also to finish what I start. Just a thought....
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#12 UPDATE Employee

Art Instruction Schools is on the Up and Up

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

I have been an employee of the school for some years now, and I can assure you the school is on
the level.

I am licensed with the Illinois Department of Education. The American Council of Education and
the DETC(Distance Education Training Council) have recommended this course for up to 24 college
credits.

Here is a mother describing what she knows about our school- it is a direct quote from her
journal, posted on the web:

"I always had sort of thought of them (the school) as a joke, but I've known two people who took their course and it is pretty cool. They do teach a lot of different techniques, etc. It's
surprisingly extensive."

The school is not a joke. Charles Schultz, creator of Peanuts, is a graduate of ours.

The art test students submit to us aren't even graded by us. We send them to an outside studio
for evaluation. If a test gets lower than a 70% grade, the sender gets a letter thanking them
for their intrest- but they are not invited to enroll. We only accept qualified students. Using
an outside studio to grade the tests protects us from bias.

I have had the pleasure of working for this wonderful school for several years. The
administrative staff, and the teachers, are like family. This is an old school that works hard
to keep a good reputation.

I am sorry to hear some people were not satisfied. I can assure you they are in the minority.
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#13 UPDATE Employee

Art Instruction Schools is on the Up and Up

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

I have been an employee of the school for some years now, and I can assure you the school is on
the level.

I am licensed with the Illinois Department of Education. The American Council of Education and
the DETC(Distance Education Training Council) have recommended this course for up to 24 college
credits.

Here is a mother describing what she knows about our school- it is a direct quote from her
journal, posted on the web:

"I always had sort of thought of them (the school) as a joke, but I've known two people who took their course and it is pretty cool. They do teach a lot of different techniques, etc. It's
surprisingly extensive."

The school is not a joke. Charles Schultz, creator of Peanuts, is a graduate of ours.

The art test students submit to us aren't even graded by us. We send them to an outside studio
for evaluation. If a test gets lower than a 70% grade, the sender gets a letter thanking them
for their intrest- but they are not invited to enroll. We only accept qualified students. Using
an outside studio to grade the tests protects us from bias.

I have had the pleasure of working for this wonderful school for several years. The
administrative staff, and the teachers, are like family. This is an old school that works hard
to keep a good reputation.

I am sorry to hear some people were not satisfied. I can assure you they are in the minority.
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#14 UPDATE Employee

Art Instruction Schools is on the Up and Up

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

I have been an employee of the school for some years now, and I can assure you the school is on
the level.

I am licensed with the Illinois Department of Education. The American Council of Education and
the DETC(Distance Education Training Council) have recommended this course for up to 24 college
credits.

Here is a mother describing what she knows about our school- it is a direct quote from her
journal, posted on the web:

"I always had sort of thought of them (the school) as a joke, but I've known two people who took their course and it is pretty cool. They do teach a lot of different techniques, etc. It's
surprisingly extensive."

The school is not a joke. Charles Schultz, creator of Peanuts, is a graduate of ours.

The art test students submit to us aren't even graded by us. We send them to an outside studio
for evaluation. If a test gets lower than a 70% grade, the sender gets a letter thanking them
for their intrest- but they are not invited to enroll. We only accept qualified students. Using
an outside studio to grade the tests protects us from bias.

I have had the pleasure of working for this wonderful school for several years. The
administrative staff, and the teachers, are like family. This is an old school that works hard
to keep a good reputation.

I am sorry to hear some people were not satisfied. I can assure you they are in the minority.
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#15 UPDATE Employee

Art Instruction Schools is on the Up and Up

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

I have been an employee of the school for some years now, and I can assure you the school is on
the level.

I am licensed with the Illinois Department of Education. The American Council of Education and
the DETC(Distance Education Training Council) have recommended this course for up to 24 college
credits.

Here is a mother describing what she knows about our school- it is a direct quote from her
journal, posted on the web:

"I always had sort of thought of them (the school) as a joke, but I've known two people who took their course and it is pretty cool. They do teach a lot of different techniques, etc. It's
surprisingly extensive."

The school is not a joke. Charles Schultz, creator of Peanuts, is a graduate of ours.

The art test students submit to us aren't even graded by us. We send them to an outside studio
for evaluation. If a test gets lower than a 70% grade, the sender gets a letter thanking them
for their intrest- but they are not invited to enroll. We only accept qualified students. Using
an outside studio to grade the tests protects us from bias.

I have had the pleasure of working for this wonderful school for several years. The
administrative staff, and the teachers, are like family. This is an old school that works hard
to keep a good reputation.

I am sorry to hear some people were not satisfied. I can assure you they are in the minority.
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#16 Consumer Comment

know your facts!

AUTHOR: Thomas - ()

I am an artist who is considering taking the course to enhance my skills. I of course, being a little cautious, checked them out. I ran across the Rip-off report and the comment about the course not having college credit merit.

To the person who lacks the facts, I would like to suggest: Log on to the Better Bussiness Bureau and read their report. You will find that according to ACE the American Council on Education, completion of Art Instruction School's course is good for about 52 credit hours. It looks to me like the entire problem is one of reading comprhension. Read the contract folks! To the person who made his son complete. BRAVO!
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#17 Consumer Comment

Teach your kid responsibility

AUTHOR: Bev - ()

My son is enrolled also in the Art Instruction School and almost finished. He begged me to sign him up and about midway through decided high school classes were too much and this on top of it was too time consuming. Too bad.....Teach your kid responsibility.

My son has 2 lessons left, whether or not he gets his college credit, by the way he did get high school credit as electives. I insisted he finish what he started...a good lesson for the future. Instead of blaming the school, insist your child finish or learn an expensive lesson.
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#18 Consumer Comment

art instruction schools is not a ripoff

AUTHOR: jess - ()

i've had no complaints w/ this school. i started in '97, and haven't finished my assingments due to deployments in the navy. the school gladly extended my contract w/ them.

about the money, it is clearly written in the contract that after X amount of time has passed and you wish to terminate the contract, you will pay half, not what you've accomplished. i read the contract many times aware of what i was getting into.

even if a college is not accepting these credits, the contract does not guarantee college credit acceptance. this program should be taken as a way to enhance and become a better artist, not as an easy ride through college.

too bad you had a bad experience w/ the school, i've personally had a fun time developing my art skills.
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#19 Consumer Comment

art instruction schools is not a ripoff

AUTHOR: jess - ()

i've had no complaints w/ this school. i started in '97, and haven't finished my assingments due to deployments in the navy. the school gladly extended my contract w/ them.

about the money, it is clearly written in the contract that after X amount of time has passed and you wish to terminate the contract, you will pay half, not what you've accomplished. i read the contract many times aware of what i was getting into.

even if a college is not accepting these credits, the contract does not guarantee college credit acceptance. this program should be taken as a way to enhance and become a better artist, not as an easy ride through college.

too bad you had a bad experience w/ the school, i've personally had a fun time developing my art skills.
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#20 Consumer Suggestion

Nonsense

AUTHOR: TheFraudChick - ()

Kimberly,

I'd charge back all future charges to the credit card. Pay for only what you received. If they want more money from you let them take you to small claims court and prove they provided you a service for the money.

The other thing you could do is have your child complete the course and teach her a lesson in responsibility.

The thing about these "art schools" is that the majority are rip-offs. They used to advertise by having you submit drawings they print on matchbooks. Remember draw the pirate with the parrot or the deer? These schools are not the "real deal" and colleges never accept their college credits.

Good Luck
The Fraud Chick
TheFraudChick@aol.com
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