• Report: #403995

Complaint Review: Westwood College

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  • Submitted: Mon, December 22, 2008
  • Updated: Sun, February 15, 2009

  • Reported By:oswego Illinois
Westwood College
7155 Janes Ave. Woodridge, Illinois U.S.A.

Westwood College, Alta Colleges Westwood College Steals Money from disabled student/ Loansharks Woodridge Illinois

*Consumer Comment: This is a horrible story!

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I am on Disability and wanted to get a degree through Westwood College. The State of Illinois was to pay my tuition. Because the State takes a long time to pay I had a balance due on my account each term and was threatened with being dropped until a payment was made even though I reminded them that I don't pay, disability does. Westwood "Strongly" urged me to take out Federal student loans to pay for the terms until Disability paid. After pleading my case to no avail I reluctantly agreed to take out the loans at a 2% interest rate. I really did not want to do this but they said I had to.

Towards the end of my education I thought I would check to see if all of my finances were in order. After several months of asking, Westwood finally gave me an email stating that disability had not paid on several terms throughout the past couple of years and I now owe thousands of dollars to SallieMae for unpaid student loans at a 6.8% interest rate (Westwood said it would be 2%). So after some investigation by the State it turns out that Disability had in fact paid and WEstwood had "Misplaced the money/credited it to someone elses account" Basically stole my money. The director of financial affairs quit right after giving my the documentation.

Over a year later I finally got an excel spreadsheet of my financial accounting of Westwood. Westwood claims that they owe me nothing and I owe them nothing but I owe Sallie Mae thousands. So I contacted Sallie Mae and they sent me a list of all the checks sent to Westwood. According to the records that Westwood gave me, 100% of the checks are a different dollar amount then what Sallie Mae said they sent. Even the checks refunded to Sallie Mae by Westwood are a totally different dollar amount. Example: May'05 Sallie Mae sent $1,833.33 and $1,666.66. Westwood's ledger says the amounts are $1,778.33 an $1616.66 for a total difference that I am responsible for of $105.

That Might not seem like a lot but that was just 2 of the more than 20 checks with conflicting dollar amounts. They range from $50 to over $250 per check. Adding up to thousands of dollars that Westwood had misplaced/lost or stolen from my student loans that I now have to pay back at rediculous interest rates.

I could not finish my education because disability would no longer send money to Weswood until the matter was settled. I could have taken out more loans to finish school but why on earth would I give Westwood more money if they in fact have stolen over $12,000 already.

I can not transfer my credits to another college. No one will accept credits from Westwood. Stating that their accredidation is through a second rate accredidation.

Jennifer
oswego, Illinois
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/22/2008 01:45 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Westwood-College/Woodridge-Illinois-60517/Westwood-College-Alta-Colleges-Westwood-College-Steals-Money-from-disabled-student-Loans-403995. 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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#1 Consumer Comment

This is a horrible story!

AUTHOR: Nn - (U.S.A.)

But unfortunately Jennifer, these types of stories from Westwood students are all too common.

I feel really bad for you. It looks to me like WW was either taking advantage of your disability, or they are simply too incompetent/inexperienced to handle your situation. Either way, that makes them a horrible school.

I am definitely not a lawyer, but it would seem to me that you have a pretty strong case against WW. I would also think that you could get the IL state gov't to back you on it. Ultimately WW is trying to say that the state's checks aren't worth their full face value.

There is a Facebook group that was started by an attorney in FL. It's called "Warnings about Westwood." That might be a good place to start. They haven't filed a class-action suit against WW yet, but it looks like they are in the early stages of doing so.

I would also call around to consumer attorneys in your area. See if you could sit down with a few of them and see what they think.

And lastly, please make sure others are aware of your experience with WW. This site is definitely a good start. Post as much info as you can on other complaint boards, college rating websites, etc. WW is currently in the candidacy process for receiving regional accreditation with HLC. You can do a google search on HLC (Higher Learning Commision) and follow the links to file a complaint against Westwood (sorry but they won't let me post links on this website).

Good Luck Jennifer! I hope you're able to get this resolved.
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