• Report: #273982
Complaint Review:

Career Education Corp

  • Submitted: Thu, March 22, 2007
  • Updated: Thu, August 30, 2012

  • Reported By:Taft California
Career Education Corp
361 West Chestnut Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.

Career Education Corp Lied about job prospects after graduation Ripoff Chicago Illinois

*Consumer Comment: I AGREE

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: And that is not even the worst that I've heard

*Consumer Suggestion: Federal Lawsuit

*Author of original report: Respond to: whatch gonna do about it?

*Consumer Suggestion: whatch gonna do about it?

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In 2004, I made a decision to attend the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (CHIC) to enter their culinary program. I was 53 years old and decided to change careers after 23 years in Information Technology.

Initially, I was led to believe that the school was independently run and self-managed. It later turned out that Career Education Corporation (CEC) was overseeing their day to day operation.

In my initial conversations with the recruiter at CHIC, I expressed serious concerns about getting in to this program because 1) of my age and being able to successfully pursue a career in culinary; 2) being able to obtain adequate employment upon graduation, whether my age was a detriment; 3) getting the entire cost of the program up front and know how much the available grants would be covering; 4) I had disclosed to the school that I had undergone quadruple heart bypass in Aug of 2000, which was a concern about my physical commitment in the program.

During my first few months into the program, I noticed that approx 95% of the students were under 25. Once again, I was reassured by the recruiter that there were many other students much older than me taking the program and that the degree would speak for itself once I completed the entire program. I was also told that once I graduated, I would be able to obtain employment as chef or sous chef and that most of the physical demands would be undertaken by the kitchen help. Misrepresentations #1.

Whenever I would inquire about my costs, no one would adequately answer any questions regarding my financial aid status and the available grants. I was always being told Don't worry, everything is going along just fine' and being reassured that there were enough government and private grants that would be available that would cover a majority of the costs. I was also told that whatever loan amount remaining after the grants would be at a very low interest rate since it was a government loan. It turned out that the grants only covered less than 6% of the total cost of the program, which turned out to be over $43,000. Even after a loan consolidation through SallieMae, it turned out that the interest on the loan would exceed 11%. Misrepresentations #2.

As part of completing the culinary program in May, 2005, I had to obtain an externship at a Chicago restaurant as a requirement for passing the curriculum. During this externship, I had to undergo the most physically challenging work I had ever known. I was nothing more than a kitchen helper, and at times, even lower. Despite divulging my medical history, I had to sustain this pace for 3 months and was not given any other options from the school.

Since completing the program, I have not been able to obtain any chef or assistant chef positions. I was constantly being told that the degree was worthless and not enough to obtain a higher level kitchen position, and at best I could only get a kitchen helper job, but my age and health was a significant drawback, not only for working, but also for insurance purposes, since the average age of most kitchen employees is between 18-25. Misrepresentations #3.

I have recently relocated to California and have continued to search for work in the culinary field. A few weeks ago during an interview, the hiring Chef indicated that my chances of obtaining work solely on the degree are slim to none. He said the degree means virtually nothing in relation to basic cooking skills and experience. He also asked why the school didn't see the age concern, and mostly my health issues. He stated that the school wasn't totally honest in misrepresenting the employment prospects and should not even have considered me into the program due to my surgery.

I now have over $45,000 in student loans as a result of taking the program at CHIC and virtually no way to pay for it. I feel I am in this predicament because CEC totally misrepresented to students a) tuition costs and how much grants are really available b) the likelihood that after taking a $40,000 program, a student would be able to find a chef job upon graduation, c) falsely stating that age would not be a factor in obtaining employment and d) not taking my health issue into consideration when the initial application process was underway.

Taft, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/22/2007 05:20 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/career-education-corp/chicago-illinois-60610/career-education-corp-lied-about-job-prospects-after-graduation-ripoff-chicago-illinois-273982. 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


AUTHOR: Fred White - (United States of America)

I also had the same experience there..I also graduated in 2005..We need to file a class action lawsuit with Illinois Attorney General
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

And that is not even the worst that I've heard

AUTHOR: jaguar - (United States of America)

I used to work for CEC and I had a lot of bad experiences.  I was a recruiter and always performing well.  I had a good relationship with my students, I believed in them they believed in me.  However I started to hate my job because enrollments where never enough, if we thought someone was not going to be good for the program or if it was not going to be good for them we had no choice than to sell it until they enroll or they left with a bad taste in their mouth.  I left the company because of that and because it lost the sence of helping people.  I thought I was helping my students by giving them education, but instead I was just part of this big scam, false promises and a lot of broken wallets.  The really bad stories are the ones of the new loan program, which is a CEC loan that if you don't qualify for a private loan, and if you have a cosigner denied, you can get the RIC loan.  Which allows you to go to school.  So it sounds good but there is a catch.  I had a student that she was a sweetheart I really got to know her really well.  She got that loan and she was doing fine but after a couple of months her grandma passed away and she had to miss school for one week.  When she came back she found out that she was dropped and she can't get into the school unless she pays for the remaining balance cash.  Just like her many students have found themselves in a 25k to 35k hole and very few finish with a degree.  The rest are just countless names that will continue with no career and worse financially than when they showed up that first time.  That's why I left that school and I am so happy now working for a family owned school in the same town.

Don't give up

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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Federal Lawsuit

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

I am a student at Colorado Technical University (CTU). I will be filing a federal lawsuit against CTU and Career Education Corporation shortly. My 2+ years at CTU has uncovered a number of fraudulent activities at the school and with its parent company CEC, which establishes a federal RICO claim against them.

CTU can be consider an "Education Mill". Which is similar to a "Medical Mill". Because they both push consumers through their facilities any way they can to obtain the fees. This includes engaging in unethical and unlawful conduct.

I have evidence that this fraudulent conduct is an ongoing scheme to mislead consumers into signing up with their schools. They also refer to prospective students as "Professional Procrastinators" even though many of them are hard working and have full-time jobs. This label goes to prove the bad faith CTU exhibits against its consumers who end up paying CTU over $40,000.00.
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#4 Author of original report

Respond to: whatch gonna do about it?

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

Stacy Jo,

FINALLY, I'm hearing from someone who will openly admit to the open lying being done by CEC. For the past year or so, I have contacted numerous legal and advocate groups regarding initiating a class action suit against CEC. The problem I am facing is that no law firm is willing to stand up and take this case. As an attorney recently put it "A case like this is poison if people are afraid of these large corporations".

I have followed other avenues about getting my financial aid loans relinquished because of this, but that's nearly impossible without a major event (legal, health, or otherwise). There are various legislation changes regarding the student loans, but it appears nothing is being done to address how these diploma mill schools are still using illegal and deceitful tactics to obtain enrollment.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

whatch gonna do about it?

AUTHOR: Stacy Jo - (U.S.A.)

sal, i have read your complaint thoroughly. you seem to be a serious person with a serious greivance, unlike so many others on this and other sites. my question is serious too. what do you plan to do besides complain? are you a member of a class action lawsuit? have you looked into starting a lawsuit of your own or with the attorney general of the state in which the school is located? i am also a disgruntled former CEC student from Western Culinary, and although i have a job in my chosen field, i was not told the full truth about my student loans and financing options. i am interested in learning how to become a part of a lawsuit, or start my own. if you are doing either of those things, please pass on some starter tips. if you are not doing those things, why not?
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