I looked into attending cosmetology school and visited The Lab, Paul Mitchell Partner School. Their sales people give quite a pitch and made me believe that I would get the best education for $16,000. I was told that I could pay for the schooling out of my own pocket or finance through Sallie Mae. They refused to accept Federal funding. I found out later that the Federal Government wont fund such a school because it's not on their list of accredited trade schools.
I financed a loan through Sallie Mae and despite having excellent credit and a co-signer, I was charged a very high interest rate.
I started school and immediately began to feel that I have been had. There was zero organization, the teachers were obviously not qualified to teach anything, no less a course that cost so much money. The kit that comes with tuition consisted of sub-par items that had a Paul Mitchell sticker slapped on them. The beauty products such as perm rods, combs and clips, started breaking immediately. This is just the tip of the iceberg, the school was just poorly run. I felt like I was duped by a really good sales person.
I finally had enough, I had approximately 540 hours out of the 1200 needed to complete the course. I checked the contract and it stated that if I hadn't yet reached the half way mark, 600 hours, that I would be entitled to a 30% refund. I visited with the school administrator and asked for a print out of my hours which were well below the 600 mark. When I asked for a refund I was told that although I had not reached the 600 mark physically, I took several days off for a surgery and a few days off following that for the staph infection I contracted due to the surgery. Even though I had a doctor's note proving that I needed those days off, the school administrator claimed that had I not taken time off, I would have reached 600 hours. So, even though I didn't complete 600 hours, I was "scheduled" to reach 600 hours, therefore, I was not entitled to the refund.
This did not make sense to me. The wording in the contract said nothing about "SCHEDULED" hours, it only said, hours completed. You can't argue with the administrator, it's her way or no way. I gently explained to her that I was going to attend regular college and the refund would help greatly. I told her of my intention of having the Sallie Mae loan deferred or merging it with my Federal Stafford loans for regular college. She politely told me that Sallie Mae does not allow deferment nor merging of the loan. I almost fell out of my chair. So, not only were they not gonna give me the 30% owed to me, but now I am stuck with a loan that I can't afford to pay.
She told me I should just stick it out. I didn't want to spend another moment in their BS school. I couldn't believe I wasted money on such a phony program full of fluff. I was had.
Now I am stuck with a high interest loan that I can't pay because I am a full-time college student. If I would have received the 30% refund, it would have been close to $5,000 that I would have gotten back and I could have paid down some of the loan with it. That in turn would have brought my monthly payment down and I could have found a way to pay that.
The bottom line is that my contract said I was entitled to a refund. Also, the school never gave me all of the items on the list that I was to receive, so they got away with my full tuition and never gave me the stuff they promised to give me.
I can't afford a lawyer. If you see this, don't go to this school. They don't give you more than a regular cosmetology school it just costs more. You're just paying for a brand name and a lot of uneducated people to teach you stuff in a backward manner.