Ok, heres where my mistake began.
I contacted University of Phoenix in December of 2007. I was curious about the courses they offered, I showed some interest, but was a bit timid. It seemed to be too good to be true, however Steve, the academic Counselor seemed to have my best interest in mind and wasnt going to presure me into doing anything. This seemed odd to me concidering they have blanketed themselves over every website, career fair and TV station with ads to get students to enroll.
I decided that I wanted to go into computer programming, and I asked Steve what courses they had, he seemed enthusiastic, even noting some concern, could I commit to this and what not. Based on what I had heard, it was something that I could definately do. I really did have a hectic life however, so I started to back away, but helpful steve was persistant, being a good salesman, he cinched the deal.
I met with him I actually believe it was the same day, we discussed everything, he pointed out that some students actually get money back from thier tuition and assistance from the government, some even got thousands. This seemed like a great idea, sicne things were exceptionally tight for me, it would come in handy. It seemed a little odd to me, but Steve assured me this was a perfectly legal thing to do and was very common and the money could be used for anything I wished, to offset the expesnses of going to school.
After signing up, I attended my first class. Everything seemed great, it was a smooth flow, my life was busy, but I could get things done, and Steve assured me that the first few classes was a cake walk, he encouraged me to test out of them, but I wanted to stay the course, I mean for the price, I did not wish to miss out on anything I was paying for. It ran over 2k on the first bill I saw, and I think that was one month!
I sat down with the first bill, and got scared. What seemed like a great idea, was starting to scare me, life was getting crazier, I overcommited myself on alot of things and knowing the stories my friends had told me, about them failing one class, and never recieving financial aide again, I flipped, and had a panic attack. Class was going at a dizzying pace, I would submit assignments and not get graded for them. Teachers would lose them, I would press submit and apparently they didnt always submit (happened often, and I admit my fault in not checking to ensure they posted.
I noticed alot of the assignments for COM/GEN seemed more geared toward pledging my allegiance to UoP, alot of it centered around explaining "why UoP was so great for me" and such. It felt like I was being asked to write testimony to be used in advertising. I really felt like this was starting to look like a mickey mouse operation. I was paying 2k a month to educate myself!
The classes were not structured, the assignments were dead simple. This was grade school stuff, and the final assignments didnt make any sense. The teachers did nothing, I felt like they were just names, with generic responses, they graded a paper and left a few generic comments. I saw nothing that couldnt be done by a high school graduate.
I was unimpressed, I also was completely hyper extended, I tried to communicate this to Steve, but he was gone, and didnt get back to me even remotely on time, I told him, I couldnt finish, I didnt want to finish, I wanted to stop. I a) felt that the classes were a joke and b) felt like I had been cheated.
I was talked into continuing eventually, as he did get back to me. However, I decided to do some research online, and with potential employers. Online I found a huge list of complaints filed reguarding UoP, and based on conversations with real companies I found that none of them held UoP in any high reguard. Most stated that I would make better use of my time and money by attending an accredited community college nearby where I could actually get some personal communication with teachers and a real education. I was a bit shocked as some hireing managers and recruiters were quite blunt. Basically what it boiled down to was while you get job training at UoP, the money you spend there isnt worth the education you recieve. Employers, which is where everything counts, dont care about a degree from this college.
I really thought it was odd, so I looked around a little more, and saw the posting here on ripoff report. I read the story from Cynthia, I believe, and I saw Brandon's responses to her complaint. They seemed a bit snide, and his disclosure about her "real reason for withdrawing" was extreamly unprofessional, spiteful and even a little frightening. The information he posted was protected information, supposedly confidential. And there was no follow up from the school apologizing. I put the brakes on. I contacted Steve and demanded to not only be removed from classes, but to get me in contact with his supervisor immediately. I did no in not so friendly terms I will admit. I was furious!
Mr. Steve the friendly counselor immediately disappeared, and still I was recieving emails from the next set of classes asking for my homework, which from my understanding had long since been put on hold from my previous contact with steve, who assured me that things would not proceed past my first set of classes until I got some things straightened out.
I am affraid of what they will post about my personal information, and honestly I want my money back, or I want a bill from financial aide telling me how much I owe and how I can pay it back, and who I can file a complaint with reguarding the UoP and thier use of Aide money. I dont feel the money I recieved in excess was a legit practice and after reading some of the stories, I'm afraid that I may have unknowingly been involved in some kind of fraud.
I know I made msitakes, and thats fine, honestly my only reasoning for wanting my money back is, ofcourse, that I dont believe the university has done anything to earn that money, and pardoin my bad analogy, but thier propaganda tactics were used by some other known organization to brainwash people into submission.
I've never been good with words, so if I've explained myself and my situation poorly please ask me to clarify before launching into any kind of heated debate.
Like I said, I dont want anything for free, I want to just go to a real school, with real counselors and real teachers, I dont want this to hurt my chances for financial aide to do so. I feel cheated, I feel lied to, I really just dont care what becomes of UoP. I hope more people research the school, like I should have done in more depth. I just will be very upset if this mistake ruins my ability to attend other credible schools (credible schools meaning the schools that employers actually look at and find noteworthy)
I dont want a 10 year degree in 3 years, I want a 10 yearn degree in 10 years. This cutting corners BS has got to go.
Also of note, It is far to easy to get an A in your classes. numerous times I was told "getting it right isnt as important as getting it ontime" which made NO sense to me, but I foudn that homework that was done in a halfway manner, recieved higher grades (95%+) than ones what were even a day late but perfectly completed. And I mean I did some things REALLY wrong and still got near perfect grades for it.
Between the teacher losing multiple assingments *I had to resubmit them, AND refrence thier position in the forums, AND lead the teacher to them on several occasions* the things I've seen, and the first class, this school just screams scam, it screams fishy.
This whole experience was not fun. At the very least this kind of schooling is not for me as I've noted several times with Steve, and I will not continue. thier organization is terrible *I had to verify my 2006 tax info twice! Teachers lose homework! No communication from the counselors unless it was in thier best interest!* the layout is hokey at best, there is as noted no real classroom, just discussion questions and teach yourself courses. They claim that retention is higher, I would like to see the credible study done on this, plus several references to independant studies that cant be linked to them in any manner.
I am upset for the above reasons, and I want to add my voice to the pool of people who have been misled by the recruiters. Maybe its poor training, maybe they dont want people to think its hokey *if the course was demonstraited to you or you had a trial of a few weeks to get a feel for it, you would walk away shaking your head after linking that up with a price tag, and I think that right there is a real lawsuit and I would pursue it if I was a lawyer* so in that respect I would say I even find it deceptive. Had I known exactly how the school was organized, I would have rethought my position in joining, had I been warned that the website didnt always take submissions, I would have certainly made more of an effort to ensure they submitted properly and had I known the teachers couldnt keep track of 10 or so students assignments as they were submitted (once I can forgive, I went off on both teachers for it when it happened, they should have gotten the point then and there that 2k per month means I am paying for perfection on thier part. 24k a year, 72k for a BA in the IT field that would have been ABSOLUTELY worthless as a diploma to any employer. That hurt!
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