I'm just like you. The person looking for an education and needing a way out of debt and disappointment. I wanted a degree to better myself, so that I could help my family and others. Well, one day a representative from the Art Institute Online, who talked to my daughter about going to college. Well, the representative needed an adult to speak to,so we started talking about different degree's what I liked as well as my daughter. She tried to sign me up and I asked her over and over, "Is there any out of pocket fee's, because I won't be able to attend if I have to pay." She kept expressing to me that "No, there were no out of pocket fee's except for classes supplies." Then she proceeded to tell me what those supplies might be, such as, pencils, certain software, or papers,etc. Well, everything sounded great and I would get an Associates Graphic Design degree in about 1 1/2-2 years online. Needless to say, I was grateful for this opportunity and finally I could get back on track to paying bills and having less worry in my life. She signed my daughter and I both up that day. She said that my daughter would have to turn in a few drawings to see if she knew enough about art to get into the classes. Well, of course she did, because I had been teaching her since she was about 5 years old. Anyways, the classes were very easy and it wasn't challenging at all. My daughter and I had some classes that were the same so we thought that was great. As time went on, about 6 months into classes, we started noticing that some of the classes would be the same, but have different titles on them. We would do the same work, but the name of the class would be different? Then the bills started coming in asking me to pay x-amount of dollars. I knew it had to be a mistake and when I called the school, I was told that Yes, there was indeed payments that had to be made. My daughter and I called the school about the classes being the same and barely got any response until she showed one of her teachers one of her last classes schedule and curriculum. She gasped, because it was the same class she was teaching, but with a different name. That told me that the teachers probably do not know exactly what is going on except what they are told to teach. Anyways, after complete shock and awe subsided as well as a huge gross amount of disappointment, I decided to just keep going. It would be a degree either way. I will be graduating this June (2013) and I am happy to put this behind me.
If you are someone wanting to go to school to better yourself, I can't express enough that you please check into the schools and see if they are a private school, public, or not for profit, etc.
You can take from this what you want, but if I had known what I know now?...I wouldn't have chosen The Art Institute for my Education needs. I'm not sure how the main campuses run, but, for the online division, I would NOT recommend them at all.
I did come across some pretty great Professors, and if it had not been for them and needing a degree so badly.. then I would have dropped out of that school or sued for lieing.
( Looking forward to Graduating!)