ED Magedson – Founder
Grand Canyon University3300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, Arizona USA
Grand Canyon University GCU I Was Five Classes from My Degree When GCU Shut Me Down! Phoenix Arizona
I attended Grand Canyon University from 2007 until 2011, majoring in Christian Studies. I went to school online, and received money via the Federal Government (FAFSA- Stafford Loans, Etc.) to go to school.
In 2011, I had a run of poor health. GCU drop policy allows you to only drop a class in the first week- no matter what. I faxed the school doctor's notes and documentation stating that I was ill in an attempt to drop the classes I had enrolled into, but to no avail. They charged the Federal Government for my tuition, and I owed the money, despite my registering for the Disability Program at the School.
In one of the classes of the three I am mentioning here, I was the only student in an online discussion class run by a new teacher. This educator (and I use the term loosely) was impossible to work with, and had absolutely no patience with me when my health went downhill. The online classes cram one semester's work into eight weeks. After falling behind, and trying to work with the professor, he granted me one extra week to get in my work, but on the advice of my doctor, I dropped the course in the seventh week because of two reasons: I was so very far behind, I could not catch up; and two, the instructor was a real diffcult person. He was impossible to reach immediately by phone, and expressed his displeasure with me, and even threatened me. I was a nervous wreck. The school should never have had a class in which only one student was in class- in a discussion class? The teacher never discussed much of anything with me. It was like shouting down a deep well.
The school changed their policy on this right after I dropped the class. No more one-student classes. They learned something at my expense...
The school's Disabilty Program was supposed to protect me from dropping later than the first week, but it did not help me at all. Suddenly, I was hit with a bill for the three classes I "flunked" and was told that I could not re-enter GCU until I paid back the $4,000 I owed for the three classes. As I am on SSI, this might as well have been a million dollars. They cut off their nose to spite their face, because I was planning to continue with the school to get my Master's and Doctorate.
There are other things, that upon reflection, seemed a bit "off" about the school. I never seemed to be able to keep the same Academic Counselor for more than a semester or two. Just when I got to know one, another would be assigned to me. My preferences were never taken into consideration. The Financial Aid Department was very unprofessional. Newly hired "newbies" would try and stumble their way through my complex finances, and I would end up talking to a supervisor, who was never at her desk, and would never return my calls until the next day- if at all. I began to wonder why GCU was unable to retain their counselors. It seemed to me that they all left very soon upon hiring. Of course, I was always told that they were "promoted".
I have begged and pleaded with GCU to reconsider their decision, to no avail. They turned my "debt" over to a questionable collection agency, which the BBB has already flagged for poor business practices, and was then hounded for money, despite my poverty.
Their stance is still the same. I jsut spoke to the school once again; they will not allow me to finish my degree, or release my trnascripts to anyone else, until that $4,000 is paid off. My dream of becoming a Pastoral Counslor and online Instructor has dropped dead. I cannot tranfer and start over elsewhere; GCU ate up all but $11,000 of my Stafford money. So I am at a dead end. I was so excited, and so happy to finally be a Senior. So much for The American Dream. It does not happen at GCU, at least.
One final comment: Since they turned my debt over to a collection agency, what do they care about the "tuition"? It is out of their hands, they say, but at the same time, they seem to have some vested interest in whether I pay the debt. Hmmm. Wonder what they get out of the deal if I do find a way to pay off this bogus and unfair bill?
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/06/2013 07:48 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Grand-Canyon-University/Phoenix-Arizona-85017/Grand-Canyon-University-GCU-I-Was-Five-Classes-from-My-Degree-When-GCU-Shut-Me-Down-Phoe-1104848. 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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