Collins College Al Collins School of design and technology The Price Tag did not meet the level of education given Tempe, Arizona
In 2006 I attended Collins College in Tempe AZ. I am originally from MA where I had already earned an Associates degree in Fine Arts. I moved to Phoenix,AZ to further my education. After some friends of friends had mentioned Collins to me I decided to check it out.
Although I am a very talented painter I know the reality of making a "living" as an artist. I made the decision to further my education by delving into another form of creativity. I was considering some type of digital design.
So i called Collins and set up an appt. The first person I spoke with was very friendly and enthusiastic, she seemed very confident that I could find a major that would work for me. During our meeting she spoke so fast and acted like she was selling something...She had a solution to any concern I had.
I showed her my portfolio so she could see the type of artist I was and I expressed to her how I was interested in Computer Animation. She gave me a tour of the campus and all these brochures...she also mentioned all the exciting fields there were to offer and how you can get start pay of 55k as an animator.
Once I was shown the general cost of the program I was a little worried. It was double the amount of my last college. But I knew I was going to learn some pretty involved and complicated software. So she reassured me that I would receive all the financial assistance I would need.
For her cost was no concern she said the financial aid department would help me get loans and financial aid and I'd be all set. So i signed my life away to SallieMae and started my classes. I was shocked at the cost of equipment alone. I wish i had the receipts but I do not.
Anyways the classroom experience was very rushed. We had 5 weeks to learn each software Maya,3D Studio MAX, ect. Some of the teachers I felt were very knowledgeable but did not have the time to give us thorough instruction. Other teachers knew less than the students.
I do recall a teacher not knowing half of the lessons we were attempting to learn and had to be shown by a 19 yr old student. That was the first red flag. There were also times where a teacher had no idea where we left off from the last class. I felt like i was being rushed through as if the instructor had somewhere to be.
And yet much was expected of us. I believe I learned more from fellow students than I did the staff.
I made so many attempts to keep up with the pace. I asked for extra help..I asked questions...I studied hard. I wasn't about to throw in the towel.
I even changed majors from Computer Animation to Graphic Design in hopes that maybe print was closer to my creative level. Once again. The teacher couldnt keep up with any software changes. Barely made any effort to take the time to TEACH.
Every class seemed the same they would yell out a page number and lesson number, tell us to follow the directions and sit back down at their desk. We were teaching ourselves yet paying almost 4k a class. That is not what I was presented during my first meeting with a collins rep.
I was not a brand new person to the college world. I understand that you have to help yourself and not be "babied" along the way but I expected to be instructed. I was on the Deans list and was awarded a scholarship for my work at my prior college. I know how to work hard.
Just when I was about to give in to another semester at Collins thinking "Im not a quitter". The schools loan department informed me that I would not be able to qualify for further loans without a cosigner. I was NEVER warned about this.
I had never borrowed for my education before attending Collins. I told the rep this when we first discussed costs. I explained to her that I was a single mother who was 3k miles from everyone and everything i knew. It was just my son and I.
I was doing my best to make the right decisions to bring to fruition a career that could make it possible for me to support my son and myself. And now here I am with about 27k in loans and no degree to show for it. I come from a poor family. I had no one to turn to for a cosigner.
If I was informed about the possibility of not being able to finish my degree without a cosigner i would have chosen differently. I would not have borrowed that money knowing Id have to pay for half the cost on my own.
I was reassured by the Collins representative that I would not have any issues with financing my education at Collins College. It was a hard pill to swallow knowing the truth of the matter when it was too late.
I even went to the dept. of the school that handles portfolio preparation and job placement. I explained to the person working there my reservations about the quality of education i had received. I felt we were not being prepared or educated to the level where we could have successful work to show to potential employers.
He looked at me with a sense of sympathy and knew that there was validity to what i was complaining about. He said so many fresh out of highschool kids rush to go to Collins thinking they're gonna be game designers or work for Pixar.
But he showed me the reality of it all. He placed a stack of portfolio discs of students work on the counter that was about 10 inches tall to show me how many people about to graduate did not show any talent worth sharing. He basically said their work was crap as if they learned nothing.
A tiny stack may be of about 3 or 4 showed potential. And i knew that there were some students that have been using the same or similar software for years so they walked into this with a tremendous amount of familiarity and knowledge already. They were basically there to earn the piece of paper that would get them hired.
There is nothing wrong with that at all. I actually learned many things from these type of students. But I wasnt paying them thousands of dollars for my education. I even made the effort to write a formal letter of complaint explaining my experience and disappointment with my "education" to the Dean.
I received absolutely no reply. Not even a courtesy note of acknowledgement from a secretary. That was just insulting. I wrote a very mature letter stating valid reasons why i felt I was cheated. And i was left with student loan dept that still haunts me 7 years later.
When i moved back to Massachusetts I was forced to work as a waitress and then an office assistant where i was then laid off. So needless to say its been impossible keeping up with payments. Now my loans have defaulted and I know that they will take all of my tax returns and up to 60% of my income to pay it all back.
I find it painfully interesting that people can file bankruptcy on 40k of credit card debt and have it be gone. And yet student loans can't be touched.
I am not a moron whining about how I have to pay for an education. I don't want to hear how people like me are just lazy and irresponsible or just don't want to pay their bills. I didn't fail out of school and now im mad about the "tab". I just expected to be told the truth and at least receive a quality education that matches the price tag.
Do not attend Collins College. They are a for profit organization that does not really care about what they are selling just that they sell it.
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