I started my journey at Kaplan University in March 2010 and was very excited about picking up where I left off in high school. I felt slightly weary from the start because the advisor helping me in the initial steps would not stop calling me. But I didn't think much of it and continued my path of obtaining my bachelor's degree in criminal justice. They had put me in an accelerated program so that I would obtain my degree in three years, rather than four, which was okay by me.
I was sailing through school with no problem, other than the fact that if you had any financial aid questions, you were put on hold for hours at a time. It was not until October 2011 that I started to get nervous.
At this point, I had enough credits, and then some, for my associate's degree.So I started looking around for some jobs that I could use my education with; as a foot in the door. My boyfriend's father works for one of the county governments where we live and they had a position available that suited me to the tee. I knew I would get it; not only did I have my soon-to-be-father-in-law on my side, I had great marks in school and professors that were more than happy to write letters of recommendation.
During the last bit of school that I attended, in October 2011, I was very excited that I finally had a professor from my state: New York. She was actually not very far from where I lived and we instantly had a great connection. I called her to ask her to write a letter of recommendation for the position in which I was applying. While reading the job description, I had a question that I wanted to ask her. I said "Professor, it says on this job description "education beyond the secondary level must be from an institution recognized or accredited by the Board of Regents of the New York State Department of Education as a post-secondary, degree-granting institution." (And yes, this is verbatim what the job description said.) I asked "what exactly does that mean?" She sighed and said "I could get in a lot of trouble for telling you this but Kaplan is a for-profit university, meaning they are more like a business than a school. Kaplan University is NOT accredited by New York State." I asked "So what exactly does that mean?" She continued to explain to me that not only was my degree not going to be recognized by any jobs in New York state that require further education but also my credits would not be recognized in any college in the state. I was flabbergasted. How could this be?! I politely thanked her for her honesty and hung up.
Needless to say, I did not return to class. But now, as many of you know, Kaplan charges you completely in advance for your degree. My credit report states that I owe $28,000.00 in student loans. Also needless to say, I did not get the job. Now I'm stuck. I refuse to answer the minimum of 5 calls per day that Kaplan calls me until I consult a lawyer. I am not paying a cent until I am told that I HAVE to. I do not know what kind of lawyer to contact in regards to this matter. But when I looked up which states Kaplan actually is accredited in, I was devastated. If my memory serves me right, they are only accredited in about five states. FIVE!
My point here being is that when enrolling, this should have been information that they gave me. I do not plan on moving out of New York state EVER. And all of the states that Kaplan is accredited by, are not anywhere near New York state. What average person knows to ask upon enrolling "Are you accredited by the state that I live in?" Come on.
The reason that Kaplan is not accredited by many states is their low standard of admitting students. When enrolling, I was preparing myself for an extensive essay, an interview, etcetera. When I found out all that was needed was for me to take some sort of IQ test, I was also a little weary but figured that to each school it's own. I should have also known better by the students that were also enrolled in the program...some of them, not to sound judgemental, should not have been allowed out of elemetary school, let alone high school and then admitted into college.
Does anybody know what sort of legal counsel I should obtain for this matter? I am not looking for some reward I just do not feel that I should have to pay my tuition back. I am sure that there is a legal way to obtain this. Any information would be GREATLY appreciated!