Four years ago, I started GCU online with high hopes. Although I'm already in a good career, getting my Bachelor's was supposed to be me keeping a promise I made to myself years ago. My children were also proud that I was returning to school and it seemed to motivate them in their own studies.
I can say that I "should have known" but hindsight is always 20/20 and I, perhaps, had an inordinate amount of trust in the school since they touted themselves as Christian and most of my previous college experience had been with my local Christian college years before. After my first few courses I began to have serious doubts about the quality of education I was receiving and wondered how a few of my coursemates had even graduated high school. The quality of instructors was widely varying. Some were there for the check while a few seemed quite dedicated.
On two separate occasions I had to contact my ever changing counselor to have a grade changed. Mind you, both times they were changed to the correct grade but not until months had elapsed and my financial aid for the next semester was affected. However, I was initially of the mindset that the balances would work themselves out in the end.
Midway through my GCU experience, the school changed the way they figured semesters. Now, I would explain this in greater detail, but I'm still unsure of what occurred and this wasn't through lack of sincerely trying to figure it out. What I did know is that most courses became four hours instead of three and were prepaid through financial aid in lumps of three courses. Once again, I figured I could handle that since the hour increase just put my goal that much closer.
Now let's fast forward to last fall which would be my last "semester?" at GCU. I need to mention that my grades at this time are good and would remain so. The only class I'd had an issue with was the previous year when I'd had multiple family deaths on the same day and had to drop the class. (Unfortunately, it was never really dropped and would create a different problem with billing). I'm within three classes of graduating.
At this time, the proverbial bomb drops. It's no longer three classes. It's six! (They think). There are also fees which financial aid will not cover and the undropped class which I had already retaken would have to be paid out of pocket. I then noticed in my finance module online that the disbursement dates, amount due, and even semester lengths kept changing. I would write the new information down to keep up but it would invariably change again.
During this time, I'm trying to be proactive since another class is coming up soon and I was anxious to get finished with this bad dream and move on. I was assured that everything was alright and the "system" would catch up, that I was fine. By now, however, I've had enough negative experiences with GCU inaccuracies to refuse to settle for anything verbal and I refused to log into the next class until I saw the financial information change. I never logged into that class or the following one.
I would still be charged for the classes although it did not go through my financial aid, at least. Now, I'm the proud owner of a $4,000 bill for services that weren't rendered. Sadly, I would have remained quiet had someone close to me that I had encouraged to go to GCU as well (during my first few classes) not have an even more horrible thing happen to them. She found out today that there are $10,000 worth of loans taken out on one single day in 2009 when she was no longer attending.