I graduated in 2004 from high school and decided (Unwisely) to go to ITT Tech for a back-up career choice I could do while in college. The idea was to first go to ITT and then use the ITT degree to get a job I could do while going into college for PHD. The commercials make ITT seem fast, less expensive than traditional colleges, and since I was already into computer, very easy.
I went in for an interview. The cost of ITT never came up. Being fresh out of high school, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Being naive is one of the problems. I did not think to look for reviews, because ITT Tech seemed like a good place. I always drove by the building on my way to the store and everything looked ok.
Once in I had to take a silly little entrance test. The recruiter did not even bother looking at it. Looking back now, I know why. Heine sight is 20/20. Once past that the horrible classes started. At first I thought, maybe this is just a bad teacher and the rest is better. I was wrong. I stuck with it thinking that all schools were like this.
It was not until I finally graduated that I realized I had been shafted. I found that getting an interview was impossible in most cases. The few I did manage ended when the H&R found out my degree was from ITT. I found I had better luck getting interviews by leaving ITT Tech off of the resumes.
It was at this point I figured, I need to keep moving. I went to U.C. (In the proceeding letter they mention Raymond Walters, I told them that was were I was going, but I went to main campus instead, showing they never looked beyond my words.) in hopes of getting a degree for a better job that could keep up with my loans. I realized what real college was. It was amazing. Nothing like ITT. I learned and grew at a phenomenal rate. I found it easy to manage a 4.0. Then the party stopped.
My loans went into over draft. I could not borrow more as ITT had sucked enough off to only allow one year of U.C. The irony was the cost difference. ITT Tech was 12,000$ a year were as U.C. was 4,000$ at 18 credit hours per year. I now know why I was able to go one year. ITT sets it up so they can pull in a student for another two years by leaving a small gap before over draft as they cannot set for upper graduate due to their school model not being a real school, just a school in name only. Their prices rise to meet this limit just short of over draft.
After getting a ware house job to pay down my college loans, I began studying ITT Tech's techniques. ITT is for all intents and purposes, a scam. Only two guys in my graduating class of fifteen managed jobs in CNS, and they both told me that they got them with a ton of certifications and acting like they had never attended ITT Tech. They removed it from their resumes. I also found a ton of websites and forums loaded with people just like me.
I attempted to get a refund in 2008, 2 years after graduation. A friend of mine (Who was studying to become a lawyer, but later changed to veterinarian?) asked his teacher about it. According to him, I should ask for twice what I want and if by the good graces of their shady shallow little stone hearts they cave, I would probably end up with less than half of that. ITT had taken 45,000$ so I asked for the whooping sum of 100,000$. Here is a copy of my letter to them.
To whom it may concern;
From this point on me, I, and us are to be simply referred to as . Also, you your and any pretense to said establishment and its members will be referred to as whom it may concern, ITT Technical institute, and any variant forth coming. All statements made in this document are the opinions of its author and do not hold merit in a court of law.
Let me first introduce myself. My name is (). This is a formal request for reimbursement for services not rendered. For the duration of attendance at ITT Technical Institute at the Norwood campus, it is the belief of this individual that not only were services not rendered but also where lack luster to even the most remote claim of completeness. This individual finds the education presented at ITT to be faulty and misleading.
The career department lacks action and is for the most part, based on a sick sense of breached faith. The professors are more like out sourced third world kindergarten teachers and in most cases lack even the most basics of knowledge in their class field. The establishment and more in particular, the recruiters use tactics that would make a dishonest army recruiter cringe in his sleep. Many things that were claimed by these recruiters and reinforced by said establishment were out right lies. Most of these lies are protected under the required contract signed in good faith of both the student and the recruiter. I will admit this contract is iron clad. That is why I find it necessary to request a reimbursement of all funds before taking action. Should whom it may concern fail to issue a reimbursement of the full fund and if said member has even the slightest sense of sincerity, an addition to cover interest accrued on said loans and for time spent, non-violent actions will be taken.
These actions include public protest, newspaper articles, and anti-ITT advertising. Form the prospective of this individual; it is only necessary to divert one future student to obtain reimbursement. However should the grace period be exhausted, it is in the best interest of this individual to drive as many away as possible. Because of the nature of this individuals work, this individual is available every single day in the morning and evening. Every day this individual will stand off the property of ITT bearing signs stating my opinion and disdain of the establishment. For every day for the next five years, I will drive as many future associates and bachelor degree faring students away as possible. This will in the end cost hundreds of times more than a simple reimbursement with added funds to cover interest.
You may be thinking about court action for lost revenue, to this I have a statement. According to the first amendment, so long as this individual does not state his opinion as a fact it is perfectly legal.
Let me create a hypothetical situation. Imagine me standing within complete view of all students and establishment every single day. Imagine all of the students who feel the way I do. As they join my cause, the momentum generated will become unstoppable and more importantly, without the ability to reimburse me to make it go away. If the police show up, someone will call the media. Each station will clamor at the story.
As the news spreads to other areas on the wings of mass media fueled by me purchasing ads on Google and spreading anti-ITT mouse pads, tee shirts, and other merchandise the ITT technical institutes profit margin will plummet. All the while, I will gain revenue from said merchandise. I will even donate said merchandise to surrounding schools that will leap at the opportunity to alleviate some of their costs. Even the pro-ITT campaign will not be able to fix ITT Technical Institutes reputation.
Years later, a single shirt will go for thousands and become a testament to the power of the individual. For each student I stop, it is $40,000. That is just one. Imagine hundreds. Imagine thousands. Now imagine reimbursing me now and avoiding it completely.
Once I am reimbursed, I will gracefully submit and leave without question and without incident. Now ask yourself, "Do I really want all this trouble?" and if you have even the vaguest business sense, you will agree it is in the best interest of ITT and your position to reimburse the full amount and interest. For reference, the entire amount comes to $100k. This is for the full original amount, interest occurred, and an apology for all the time spent and lies told. Your grace period expires 10 days after signing for this letter.
I know it looks like more of a threat, how ever what happened over the next few days showed what I was up against.
Here is the letter I got back.
August 21, 2008
Re: ITT Technical Institute Norwood
Dear Mr. :
I am writing in response to your recent correspondence to out campus. In your correspondence, you state dissatisfaction with both the education received and assistance from the Career Services Department. However, while making there general statements, you provide no specifics as to why you believe services were not rendered.
I am somewhat surprised to hear of your dissatisfaction with our campus. After receiving your correspondence, I gathered information related to your enrollment in and graduation from the Information Technology Computer Network System program. I have enclosed for your review a copy of the Exit Interview you completed after graduation. As seen in this form you stated satisfaction with the school. You answered yes when asked if your believed the school adequately prepared you for the job market.
While you were not employed at the time of completing the Exit Interview, you indicated that you were continuing your education. Our files indicated you had been accepted to Raymond Walters College and were to begin classes there in September 2006.
I am sorry to hear that you now are dissatisfied with out campus. So that I may review your concerns more fully, I would request you provide specifics surrounding what services were not rendered wad what has caused this change from when you completed your Exit Interview in September 2006.
Finally, in your correspondence, you have demanded a refund of $100,000.00. Based on a review of the above summarized information. The facts do not substantiate that you are due a refund of any tuition, fees, interest of other alleged damages.
If you have any questions or wish to provide any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
ITT Technical Institute Norwood
Sure, $100,000 is a bit much to ask for, but nothing is deserved? Now that is a bit harsh. I gave a copy of the return letter to my friend and his teacher told him that I got a stock letter. A stock letter is basically a fill in the blanks letter with default attachment. My letter was probably skimmed and blanks were filled in. I wrote a second letter to follow up the return.
August 25, 2008
Robert P. Elmore
4750 Wesley Avenue
Norwood, OH 45212
Dear Mr. Elmore:
While I find the idea of writing back and forth entertaining, the point of the matter is that my original request was for services not rendered. In your return you mention that I lacked evidence about such claims. From this point on, please note that all facts that are stated by me, are my opinions and not subjective to a court of law. I think it best to start from where all stories should start. In this case it was the commercials.
Commercials: In all these commercials, the idea of successes is conveyed in a variety of ways. The commercial promised cooping and the average salary was 60,000.00$ to 100,000.00$. It used to be stated, students could use cooping to help with the college debt. The whole time I was at ITT I never received cooping. The commercial also promised hands on education. In my exit papers, I responded to question three, the hands on assignments. To this, I referred to the instances where I was allowed to do assignments at home on my own computer. In the whole time I was at ITT I only did one hands on assignment in class and the only reason I did was because no one knew how to do the instructed procedures. I would also like to note that in question 2 I responded I don't have anything to compare this school to. Which should send up a red flag. Of course, I would respond positively when I had nothing to compare to the experience.
Recruitment: When I went to ITT to enroll, my assigned recruiter gave me the tour. After that tour, she restated everything the commercials stated. I was told that I would defiantly make over 60,000.00$ a year. Like so many others, I was sold on the idea. I was 18 and young. I did not have a clue what ITT was doing. If only someone would have stopped me and told me what I was getting myself into, I would not be in this mess.
Classes: This is where the majority of services where not rendered. I started in a crummy computer awareness class that consisted of a book that featured cliff notes of the history of computers. We learned what we already knew. Most classes where like this. The SQL database class which revolved around computer databases was done in a class that did not have computers. The database structure was nothing more than a theory.
In fact, I did not learn how to setup a database server until after I left ITT. The Linux classes only taught the students how to install Linux, which was all automated. We never setup a network the entire time we were at ITT. All we did was read about setting them up. I created one network cable and it did not work. We never created patch over cables. The programming classes failed to teach programming. I did not know what an overload was until I decided to study programming on my own a year after graduating from ITT. The object-oriented programming did not teach how to make a class, or a module. It failed to hit on public assignment and did not mention Direct Link Library creation. The mathematics classes were shallow at best. It failed to teach logarithms and quadratics among other necessary mathematics. When I attended Raymond Walters, I had to start from the beginning in math and composition. In addition, unlike ITT, Raymond Walters does not push its unnecessary classes.
Online Courses: The online courses were a joke. Feel free to review my grades. Every bad grade was in an online course. The professors where barely ever on. The tests would ask questions that the materials did not cover. It was so bad that professors at the school had to spend part of their classes helping with the online courses, which did not help much because the professors already could not do their own classes.
Scheduling: ITT claims that it has flexible scheduling. Flexible meaning, what ever ITT says goes. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are all ITT schedules for. At Raymond Walters, the classes truly are flexible.
Exit paperwork: I felt funny about filling the Exit paper work out. Since I had not attended any other college, I did not know how shoddy ITT's setup was. Now after attending a real school I would like to refresh my Exit Interview.
Aftermath: After graduating from ITT, I sent resumes out like mad. To date, I have sent out well over a hundred resumes. I have had five callbacks. All of them ended when they found out my degree was from ITT Technical Institute. The job board at ITT is ridicules. The jobs either offer minimum wage or require more education than ITT can give. When I went to Career Services, I was told I was not trying hard enough. That is not very helpful.
Book: besides four books, every book was a reference manual. I am surprised that the school did not provide the for dummies line with how bad the books were getting. I still have all my books in a box in the attic. I have found Google searches to be more rewarding than the included ITT books.
Reimbursement: Here is an itemized list for reimbursement:
52,000.00$ - Loan and Capitalized Interest
51,100.00$ - 14$ a day for the next 10 years in interest alone.
50,000.00$ - The amount I would have made would have I never attended ITT. Two years at a Gross of 25,000.00. My job is hard labor I could have been doing right out of high school.
Priceless Time I could have spend doing other things. A real college for instance. I could have been on my way to being a doctor or scientist. Now, I am a laborer.
I am asking for 100,000.00$ to cover loans, interest, and time lost. As things stand, I am living at home because of crippling loans. It will take me another three years to pay off my loans. When I think of ITT, I see it as the greatest mistake of my life.
Protest: I plan to start protesting September 1st. I will protest everyday, Monday through Friday for the entire time it takes me to pay off my loans. I already know of twenty-five people in this area alone who will join me. I also know of fifty-seven people all over the United States. All these people need is a leader. If I have to protest for the next three years, I will gladly pull these people on board in my campaign. I wonder what will cost more, my complete refund or the devastation to your reputation and budget.
I would rather spend the next three years enhancing my life and empowering my capabilities. This is only possible with a clean slate. I do not wish to hurt ITT's reputation. I will if I must, but I sincerely hope that it does not come to that.
Needless to say, I never got a return. I know I was being heavy handed, but with a worthless degree and a dark tunnel of loans ahead, any one would be angry.
On September 1, I did protest. I was patted down by police, and harassed by the owner of the property. After five days of protest (And multiple pat downs, ID checks, and the guy following me where ever I went) my job hours shifted and I was not able to protest during school hours any more. The guy still follows me around, and it is getting annoying. One time I stopped my car and got out to confront him. He slammed into reverse and got away. Police wont issue a restraining order because 'nothing has happened yet'.
As things stand right now, ITT is getting away with this scam. During a time of economic crisis, people now more than ever are desperately trying to stay a float. ITT's promises of riches pulls at every one. All I can say is, stay away from ITT Tech.
Before it comes up, I've looked into bankruptcy. The laws for bankruptcy were amended in 1995 so that to bankrupt on school loans the student has to have been in good standings (Not late even once) in five years prior and has to prove that keeping up is impossible due to economic shifts. Also the student has to prove that he or she has attempted to have the loan plan extended unsuccessfully. Need less to say, very few people fall under this category. The irony is that the very banks that crafted this amendment and claim it was to help the tax payers, is now getting a 'bailout' which hurts the tax payers even more with out helping any students. I still have to pay what I owe to the banks, and my taxes are going up to also pay those same banks. No one but the bank ever wins.
As an additional note, I have notices Shills on the boards around ITT. Beware of any one stating a rebuttal against this article. These people are paid by ITT Tech to browse and put out fires against them.