• Report: #973297

Complaint Review: Grand Canyon University Online

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  • Submitted: Sat, November 24, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, January 31, 2013

  • Reported By: robertdn828 — Columbia South Carolina United States of America
Grand Canyon University Online
3300 West Camelback Road Pheonix, Arizona United States of America

Grand Canyon University Online GCU Online Unfair enrollment proceedure. You are stuck paying for the class before you are ever able to speak to a Financial Aid Advisor. Pheonix, Arizona

*Author of original report: Feel better now?

*Consumer Comment: Beating a Dead Horse

*Author of original report: I am not stupid.

*Consumer Comment: Take responsibility

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: PR Department of GCU Putting Out the Fires on ROR

*Consumer Comment: GCU, No problems here

*UPDATE Employee: Student Resolutions

*Consumer Comment: your rebutts are very common on here jeansky

*Consumer Comment: question

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        I decided to go back to school and started calling around to find out what costs were like and what schools offered the best degree for me. I came across GCU and got in contact with an academic advisor Kimberly. We went over the degree program I was interested in and she asked if it was something I was interested in. I told her I was and she proceeded to go further into her explaining about the school and before the end of the call she had sent out the free application and told me we would go ahead and start the enrollment process while I was still shopping around for schools that way if I did decide to go with them I could jump right into a class. 
        
        Eventually I decided I would go with GCU. Kimberly had stayed in contact with me the whole time and we had gotten everything I needed to get done taken care of. She told me we would shoot for the 29th of October as my start date. At this point in time we are about 4 weeks out from that date. She asked me before getting off the phone if I had any questions or concerns and I told her that because my wife is in school full time I was interested in talking to a financial aid councilor so that I could get a better idea of whether or not this was something I can afford now, or if I should wait to go back to school. She told me that he would be in contact with me closer to my start date in the next week or so when my FASFA was done processing.

        Fast-forward a week and now I am 2 weeks out from starting class. I am contacted by Kimberly who tells me that she has recieved my official transcripts and that she was happy to tell me all my prior credits would be transferring. She also told me that she had gotten confirmation of my FAFSA Master Promissory Note being signed. basically she was just checking in to let me know everything was going smoothly and that we were on track for me to start on the 29th. Again before the end of the call I voiced my concern that I had not heard from a Financial Aid Councilor and told her that I needed to because I didn't want to do this if I couldn't afford it, and up until this point I was still not aware of how much it was going to cost exactly, and had no idea what kind of grants and financial aid I had been approved for. Kimberly assured me that he would be contacting me, this time telling me it would be within the next week. 

        Fast-forward another week and now it is Friday the 26th of October. Three days before I am supposed to start my online schooling. I receive a call from Kimberly around 5:30 my time which was about 2:30 her time. She tells me she has sent me tutorials and info about how to use the online system and that I would need to look over it before Monday. She also tells me she will be calling me Monday to walk me through the Online classroom herself. Then once again before getting off the phone I Again voiced my concern that I had not been contacted by a financial advisor. She tells me this time that she had just spoken with him earlier that day and that he would be calling me later that night. Finally 8:00pm my time rolls around meaning that its 5:00 their time and they are now closed. I had not heard of anyone since she called. 

        Monday the 29th comes and I get a call from Kimberly that morning who then proceeds to go over the online class layout and how to navigate it with me. Then after she asked for and questions or concerns yet again, I tell her yet again, that I needed to talk to a financial aid councilor. She tells me she will call him after she gets off the phone and that he will contact me later that day. She also says she will be in contact with me frequently throughout this first week to make sure I'm not having any trouble with anything. And surprise the day goes by without another call from anyone from GCU. At this point being the overly patient person that my wife hates, I finally start get get upset and irritated with them. My entire first week goes by and I dont hear from anyone. Not even Kimberly like she had told me to expect.

        At the end of my first week I call on Friday and Kimberly is out of the office. Immediately after calling I get on my computer and write her an email explaining that I know most universities have policies in which once you pass a certain time frame you are responsible for paying for the entire class and cannot withdraw for free. I tell her that I am beginning to worry because I dont know what that time frame is, and I still have no idea what kind of financial aid I will be receiving. I tell her that I NEED to be contacted by a financial aid advisor ASAP. Monday comes and I wake up to an Email from Kimberly saying that she didn't know that I had not been contacted yet and that she had contacted "Gabriel's" supervisor and that Gabriel will be calling me that day. 

        At around 3:00pm I get a call from Gabriel. He begins the call by saying, "I heard that since the last time we talked you have had some concerns that need to be addressed." This pissed me off to say the least. Up until this point I didn't even know who he was, I had never heard his voice, I had never even been sent an email from him, so the fact that he tried to play it up like we had spoken before really irritated me. I asked him what this program was going to cost and he told me it would be a little over 9,000 a year. I then asked him how much I had been approved for in grants because up until this time I had no way of seeing my award letter. He told me that I was only approved for $4100 in grants and told me that I was also approved for a $3500 and a $6,000 loan. He explained that by taking both of them out I would be able to pay for the year. I then explained that my wife attends school full time and that I am a security guard and that we could not afford to take that much out in loans. He then proceeded to tell me that I could apply for scholarships and then put that towards the cost. I asked if there was any way that I could hold off on accepting my loans until I found out what scholarships I was eligible for and he told me that was an option. I then asked him what I had to withdraw if I decided this wasn't something I could afford. 
  
        Now let me remind you that at this point in time I am in the 1st day of my second week of school and up until this point have not been given any of this financial info, or any idea of what I was looking at cost vs. financial aid wise. So there is no way I could have made a responsible decision to attend of not attend before this point in time without that info. He proceeds to state GCU's withdraw policy. "Any student wanting withdraw within the first week of a class will be responsible for 25% of the full cost of that class. Any student wanting to withdraw anytime after that will be responsible for 100% of the cost of the class. At this point I am pretty furious. It just so happened that the students are responsible for the full cost of the class starting in the second week if they choose to withdraw and it just so happens that I am not contacted by a financial aid councilor until the beginning of my second week? I'm pissed. I get done going over everything with him, and get off the phone before I blow up on him. I get off the phone and go to my student page to look ant my award letter and find out that GCU has accepted all the loans and the grant I was offered in my place without my consent. (This is a Christian institution and what I wanted to say to him probably would have gotten me thrown out of the school) Later that day my wife gets home and we talk about what I had been told and needless to say she isn't happy with this either. At this point we are starting to feel as though we have almost been victimized, and taken advantage of. 

        At the end of that week after cooling down I contact Kimberly Via email. I starting thinking that, "This is a Christian School, Im sure they are going to understand where I'm coming from and be willing to help me." I tell Kimberly everything that happened and refresh her memory about me asking every time she called me if I could speak to someone In financial aid. I tell her that I feel that I was treated very unfairly and that I had never been involved with a school that would first off start you in class before ever even telling you what its gonna cost you, and second, then expect you to pay the full price of the class after they start you before telling you and you finding out you cant afford it. I told her that I wanted to take a step back, and have them remove me from the class and give me time to pray about the decision, and ask for some advice from some of my friends and family. I dont hear anything back. 

        Two days later I email her again and tell her that I have had my fill of the school and that I wanted to withdraw and that I wanted her to help me get though the withdraw process without having to pay since she got me into it without me ever being contacted by financial aid. I tell her that I feel like I have been very unfairly treated and that they can not possibly expect me to have to pay 100% of the cost because of their withdraw policy when I was not even contacted until my second week. I told her I would like to believe that that isn't their stand operating procedure and that I'm hoping she can help me work this out. I told her that I thought anyone who took a step back and looked at this situation would see that I was basically pushed into starting school before I had time to make a good decision and without knowing if it was even something I could afford.

        The next week Kimberly calls me and basically explains that she cant do anything about it and that she had contacted Gabriel's Management and that they would be in contact with me later in the week. She said they would be the ones to make any decisions like that. And that in the mean time she would start looking for more financial options that may help me with my situation. She asked what I wanted to do and I again said I cant afford this, and if I had been contacted when I wanted and expected to be I would have know I couldn't afford it before ever starting and wouldn't even be in this situation. She told me she was sorry, but didn't even address that I had just said I wanted to withdraw. She said she would have Gabriel's manager call me and they would be able to assist me further. We got off the phone, and I haven't heard from her since. I emailed her last week just to say I was working the rest of the week and that if she needed to contact me to email me. And I have yet to hear from her. 

        I'm still going to fight this and atleast try to get them to let me withdraw before my next class. But please for your own good STAY AWAY FROM THIS SCHOOL! ITS NOT WORTH IT!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/24/2012 10:35 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Grand-Canyon-University-Online/Pheonix-Arizona-85017/Grand-Canyon-University-Online-GCU-Online-Unfair-enrollment-proceedure-You-are-stuck-payi-973297. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Feel better now?

AUTHOR: robertdn828 - (United States of America)

I'm sorry I thought we were having an adult debate about this. I was unaware that I was debating someone with the maturity of a 5th grader. I'm glad that your rebuttal to me clarifying my issues with GCU included person insults. Feel better now? You really showed me. Yes, I'm sure there were grammar mistakes, thats because I am Dyslexic.So good job for picking on someone with a learning disability. You really are a great Poster Child for GCU. Normally I reply to things on my phone, which also has auto correct which just furthers my grammar mistakes because I dont catch them. But I'm sure you use spell check so I'm glad that because you have spell check that makes you better than me.

Also dont come at me with bible verses. All that does is make you look religious. Religion doesn't impress anyone, and it certainly doesn't impress God. You throwing a verse in my face about being slow to anger isn't going to get you a cut in the line to heaven, and its not gonna make God favor you any more than anyone else. I could list just as many verses to spew at you about choosing your battles wisely, or minding your own business, or about how being religious and knowing scriptures doesn't say anything about who you are but I will spare you, and everyone else who may be reading this of that kind of behavior. I'm not going to come down to that level.

You may have had a wonderful experience with GCU, and chances are that means you were either able to afford their con, or you were wiling to just go along with it. For folks like me who are tight on money and have a wife working full time its a different situation. I cannot afford to let them screw me over and I didn't let them. All I'm trying to say here is dont always trust what this school appears to be. Dont let them push you into starting classes before knowing the financial things. If they start any of that crap don't continue with the process. Its not worth it. Go elsewhere.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Beating a Dead Horse

AUTHOR: steelersfan - (United States of America)

I think it is obvious that you are angry at the school and will never understand that like all educational institutions there are success and failure stories.
You say that " So my guess is they probably do work for or are in some way affiliated with GCU some how".
You do not know how wrong you are. Let me tell you a bit about me. I am a Director of Facilities and have been in management for almost 20 years. I have never worked for or been affiliated with GCU. The only connection I have is that I completed my education there.
I am sorry that you had such a bad experience, but why do you insist on saying that EVERYBODY who graduates there or has had a positive experience there is lying or must work for them?
What you are doing is just another form of stereotyping a group of people. From some of the grammar mistakes in your last response, it might have been a good thing that you did not proceed with your educational goals.
This is my final reply to this thread as it is obvious that you are just bitter and will never be able to see beyond your personal anger about this issue.

Proverbs 29:11
"A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control."

Ecclesiastes 7:9
"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools"
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#3 Author of original report

I am not stupid.

AUTHOR: robertdn828 - (United States of America)

I am the original writer of this post and I find it extremely offensive that you would include me in "one of the major reasons our society is in it's present state." Lets clearify one thing. One of the reason that our society is in its present state is because organizations such as GCU are allowed to get away with scams like this. Not only that, but also the fact that they play the front of a "Christ centered oganization" to draw people in and make them trust them first.

As far as "taking responsiblity" goes, I would have if there had been a way to. Obviously you misunderstood my report. Or only read a little bit and then started spewing disrespect and insults before you even read enough to understand exactly what happened to me. I made it VERY clear from the start that I had no intention of starting and did not want to start class until after I had talked to a financial aid councilor. Instead I was ignored over and over again and pushed into starting a class before I had talked to one. I was extremely clear that me and my wife needed to know if we could afford it first. I dont make knee jerk decisions about something that effects our finances. We are extremely tight on money right now as it is which is the whole point of my complaint. I made my wife and I's financial situation clear from the start as well as my intentions. So your entire arguement about me not making sure me and the school were on the same page, and "taking responsibility" is null and void. And is actually the stupidest point you could have tried to make. The whole point of my complaint is I was trying to be responsible from day one by wanting to speak about finances beforehand so that I could make a decsion afterwards as to if I could afford it or not. Nice try though.

As far as "having my questions answered before starting" goes, Trust me I asked plenty of questions. I was told over and over that my questions would be answered... wait for it... By the the financial aid advisor who never contacted me until a week after I had started class. If you had read my report and comprehended it you would have known this as well. The day that my class started I made it very clear that day that I was very uncomfortable with starting but was assured it would be okay. Do not insult my intelligence by saying I should have taken responsibility and asked my qestions before starting. That wasnt the issue. The issue was that they kept pushing me along without any answers until finally I was 2 weeks in and unable to afford it. On top of that I made it very clear (let me say it for you again in case you missed it) that I did not want to start without knowing what it would cost and what I was approved for in FA. There was nothing to "take responsibility" of, there is nothing you can do when you are being mislead, minipulated, pushed along, and taken advantage of.

Also I would like to add that obviously no fault was mine in this. After filing this report I worked my way up the chain of command at the school. I finally got in touch with the Director of the Theology department, Chris Kalan. After sending him every documented conversation between me and Kimberly and every other person I had dealt with since the beginning of this whole mess where I was repeatedly told again and agian that I would be hearing from a financial aid councilor, and being told my questions would be answered by him later, and then threatening to turn all of that into the BBB I got a prompt reply admitting fault and saying that they were going to drop all the charges to my account and even credit me some of the grant money I received because of my trouble. So dont tell me to take responsiblity when even the school is admitting fault. The school needs to take responsibility for their ethics and stop doing this to people. They need to live up to the "Christ centered organization" they claim to be. The only difference between me and the countless others on here with complaints about GCU is I wasn't about to let them get away with it. As soon as I got a hint of a feeling like they were going to try and screw me I formed a Folder in my Email Inbox for every piece of mail I had ever received from anyone at that school to start building a case against them in case it came down to needing it. Which it did. And becasue of the preventative measures I took to cover my own behind I won and after some time of back and forth got an apology and an admission of fault.

My advice to anyone out there thinking about going to any online school would be Fisrt, stay clear of GCU. There are plenty of other legit Christian online schools. And two, document EVERYTHING from day one. Even record the phone calls if possible. And when they try playing games put your foot down and use all the evidence you have built to make sure you dont fall prey to thier con.

I would also like to say that the first rebuttal from steelerwhatevertherestofyournameis sounded very much like a "sucess" story I has to read for University Sucess 101's course material. The only difference is it was tweeked to fit my situation, paise the school, and try to make me look stupid. So my guess is they probably do work for or are in some way affiliated with GCU some how. 

Also to show my seriousness and how firmly I stand behind my statements about GCU I invite anyone of you to email me personally to further discuss this, or to answer any questions at robertdn828@gmail.com. Don't listen to the school's trolls who get on here to defend the school if you want to hear from a real former student feel free to contact me.

God Bless ya'll!

Robert Stevens
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#4 Consumer Comment

Take responsibility

AUTHOR: steelersfan - (United States of America)

You don't know me so you have no right to say that I am not credible. You seem to be a person who agreed to do something before you found out all of the information. Any reasonable person would have not moved forward as you did without having your questions answered.

Would it have "killed you" if you waited? One of the major reasons our society is in it's present state is that people just do not want to take responsibility for their actions. Stop being bitter and chalk it up as a lesson learned.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

PR Department of GCU Putting Out the Fires on ROR

AUTHOR: Justin Doug - (United States of America)

Ha!  I see that "steelers fan" of Glendora is at it again.  Good job, PR Department of GCU!  To all of you who come across these Rip Off Reports, please read them carefully.  The initial author here provided so much detail that his account is extremely credible. On the other hand, "Steelers Fan of Glendora" is just not credible.   Beware of GCU.  The national and state accrediting agencies are keeping a watchful eye on unscrupulous online universities, such as GCU (Grand Canyon University).  If you are looking to attend an online university, you may want to go somewhere else, where the pressure is not placed on a potential student to this rxtreme degree.  Read this consumer's entire report (above) very carefully.  It is well documented and even includes names of the unscrupulous GCU employees who are trained to aggressively and falsely induce potential students into the enrollment process.  Now, multiply what the gentleman is telling you by thousands more of disgruntled students who don't bother to write their rip off reports and you can begin to understand why the Department of Education SUED GCU for FRAUD and GCU, rather than exposing all of their dirty laundry, settled out of court for $5.2 MILLION.  See the newspaper article here as verification:  http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2010/08/18/20100818biz-grandcanyon0819.html  How would you like to tell your next potential boss that you graduated from a university that was successfully sued for FRAUD?  How would that make you look? 
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#6 Consumer Comment

GCU, No problems here

AUTHOR: steelersfan - (United States of America)

I attended GCU and have completed my BS degree a month ago. I never had any issues like the ones mentioned in the negative report. Everyone was up front and answered all of my questions long before I was financially committed.
The online process was not easy to navigate at first but GCU offers all of the resources needed to help anyone get acquainted with the process. After a week I was able to navigate the process quite easily.
I must admit that when I joined GCU I thought it would be an easy path to complete my BS degree. I had 60 credits from a state university which I attended in person. I had heard that the on line process was an easy way to complete the degree. I was mistaken, the classes needed to complete my degree were just as hard as my in person classes and even harder in some instances.
Although it was not easy like I thought it would be, I am glad that I was able to finish and know that my degree was not like a "Phoenix degree".
I have been in contact with hundreds of students at GCU and none of them seemed to have the issues like in the negative report given.
The reason I did not complete my degree at the state university was that I was having "issues" there much like the negative report was stating about GCU. I guess these problems are at every educational institution in some form or fashion.
The person should have had all of his questions asked and answered before proceeding further than he did. Sometimes people just get in too much of a hurry and don't get all of the facts first. I would blame his issues on haste.
Every issue I have ever had at GCU has been taken care of in a very timely manner.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

Student Resolutions

AUTHOR: GCUStudentResolutions - (USA)

Hi Robert,

We're sorry to hear that you're frustrated and would like to help! Please send an email to our Student Resolution Office so they can advocate on your behalf to help achieve a resolution for you. The address is: resolutionteam@gcu.edu. Kindly detail your situation and someone will reach out to you to help resolve the issue.

Thanks for allowing us to help!
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#8 Consumer Comment

your rebutts are very common on here jeansky

AUTHOR: The Outlaw Josey Wales - (United States of America)

can't tell the different between you and stacie, butt then again all rebutts from the same know it all are the same, useless
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#9 Consumer Comment

question

AUTHOR: Jeanski - (USA)

Your complaint is a fairly common one seen here on ROR. These unscrupulous schools do everything they can to rip off the students.  What concerns me the most is this statement:

"She also told me that she had gotten confirmation of my FAFSA Master Promissory Note being signed."

Do you recall whether you actually signed this or not? If so, you have accepted the loans you were approved for. If not, you'll have a clear case of fraud. These MPNs are typically signed online by using your name and birthdate, or other personal information information. It's entirely possible (and not outside the realm of possibility) that they signed it on your behalf - and that's fraud.

If you are absolutely sure you didn't sign for the loans, contact the lender and explain what happened. Believe  me, they're no happier about the fraud than you are. Unfortunately, it will be hard to prove and you'll need a lawyer.

Good luck, and let us know what happens!
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