• Report: #479595
Complaint Review:

University Of Advancing Technology

  • Submitted: Thu, August 13, 2009
  • Updated: Wed, April 21, 2010

  • Reported By: Matt — New Orleans Louisiana USA
University Of Advancing Technology
www.uat.edu Tempe, Arizona United States of America

University Of Advancing Technology UAT Deceptive Practices, Education Malpractice, False Advertising New Orleans, Louisiana

*Consumer Comment: A good tech school, game design is just hard

*Consumer Comment: In Concurrence with the Original Report

*General Comment: Non-Deceptive Practices

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UAT Scammed me in three ways:

1. Scholarship bait and switch.

They offered me a scholarship to help cover costs, before I was enrolled.  Once I had signed up and enrolled, they said I was too late to collect the scholarship.  They never said that I needed to do anything to collect it.  They provided no information on what to do to receive it.  But, once I was enrolled, they quickly notified me that it was no longer available.  Appeals to their administration were denied. 

2. Credit transfer bait and switch.

UAT literature says they will allow you take assessment tests to skip remedial courses.  UAT literature also says that if you have professional experience, you can skip remedial courses.  I took and passed the test.  They made up some excuses as to why they couldn't accept it.  I fought with their admins for 7 weeks before they caved and allowed me to pass the class.  However, during that time I missed an entire class session.  I received an F on my transcript for the class that they allowed me to skip.  Thankfully, I pushed them on the issue even further to see if that meant I could skip further classes.  They said no.  That made it pretty clear to me they were just trying to milk me for money and didn't care about helping my education.  Every class is nearly $3,000. 

3. Credits and degrees awarded there do not transfer to other institutions.

UAT web site and literature say they are accredited and recognized, but even community colleges will not accept transcripts from UAT.

4. Job placement is dismal, counter to their claims.  I've heard estimates to be around 10% of graduates find work in their degree field.

There have been some successful cases against their competitor, Westwood College.  Therefore, I believe this case has precedents that will help it be a win.

I would like to find an attorney willing to help (preferably on contingency, willing to set favorable terms) to sue them for false advertising, deceptive practices, education malpractice and help me recover damages for the time they wasted.  I think we could also subpoena the school for its database of past, current, and prospective students as potential witnesses.  We could use that information to find more defendants for said lawyer.  This could be a lucrative process for a lawyer willing to make this happen.  Please contact me if you're willing to help.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/13/2009 06:38 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/university-of-advancing-technology/tempe-arizona-/university-of-advancing-technology-uat-deceptive-practices-education-malpractice-false-a-479595. 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

A good tech school, game design is just hard

AUTHOR: Mathieson - (United States of America)

I also must disagree with the original poster.  

I am a graduate of UAT, who transferred in credits from 3 other universities (2 public, 1 private).  In addition my scholarships were automatically applied as well.  My degree, while expensive, was far better in preparing me for work as a programmer than the other programs I took.  I have a degree in Game Programming from UAT, and have worked for the past 6 years at above average salaries as a .NET developer primarily due to the classes I took at UAT.

Job placement at UAT is good, and they are much more supportive in this than the public university in town (ASU, which I have also attended).  The exception to this, and the low figure reported, is in the game industry.  However this is not due to the University or their program, but rather the industry itself, which has VERY low hire rates even for people who train in specific programs.  The game industry takes only the top few percent of programmers, designers, and animators.  Much like film school the simple truth is the vast majority of students of any program aren't going to find a job in the industry.  This is true as well for Full Sail and the public university programs as well, however.  And it's much worse for the Game Design rather than the Game Programming students, as at least the latter have a lucrative career to fall back on.

One issue I have seen at UAT is their student body doesn't seem to take this to heart, though it was constantly emphasized in the game classes I took.  Many students there would not do full games other than what their program required, or network at GDC, and were then shocked to find that the highly competitive jobs in game design and programming weren't automatically given to them on graduation.  Again and again my professors would outline the reality of the game industry (low wages, low hours, extreme competition) - which is one reason I personally have migrated to standard programming instead.

No offense meant by this to the person making the original complaint, but in every college I've been to administrations do not magically take care of things for you.  You need to be proactive in getting your degree and in finding out what the next steps are.  UAT was far easier to do this in then the giant state schools in Arizona.  

As for accreditation I can't say, as I graduated in 2005 and have not tried to transfer credits from UAT since then.  However I do believe they recently were granted regional accreditation, so transfer to state schools should be better.  However as with any transfer this depends on the receiving school, so if you are thinking of applying to UAT but concerned call the school you'd likely transfer to to check beforehand.
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#2 Consumer Comment

In Concurrence with the Original Report

AUTHOR: anonymous - (United States of America)

I am also a former student of UAT, and I sympathize entirely with the original reporter's dissatisfaction.

It has been my experience that the vast majority of coursework related to the "Game Design" major at this school is expected to be self-taught by the students. One instructor (whom I will not name at this time), even openly admitted not knowing how to use the software we were assigned to learn by ourselves and use for the course.

The school also uses an online course shell for instructors to assign and receive assignments, and for students to track their progress. However few instructors update their records regularly, leaving students completely in the dark over their progress for long spans of time, sometimes until its far too late to make any improvements. I have heard testimony from several of the handful of instructors the school employs that this is largely due to them being spread too thin across all the courses they have to teach, and not having time to keep them all up to date.

In addition, said course shell is notorious for having several problems. It has been known to mysteriously lose uploaded assignments from time to time, resulting in failed grades without the student ever being aware until much too late, and crashes of the course shell have been known to occur as well, leaving students unable to turn in work, and/or locked out of online tests.

The computer commons area of the campus has only a handful of machines with programming software installed as well. Only a fraction of what is necessary for even a single programming class to make use of at once, and while tuition fees continue to grow at an alarming rate, quality of education issues such as these are overlooked for frivolous image-enhancing spending on unnecessary items such as a multi-touch tabletop set up as a display piece in the campus' main hallway.

Personally, I would be happy to be a part of any legal action that may possibly be taken against this university should a case come to pass.
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#3 General Comment

Non-Deceptive Practices

AUTHOR: aikoiha - (United States of America)

I understand that you have a right to your opinion, thus this rebuttal is not to claim that nothing bad happened to you.

I am a current student at UAT.  I transferred here three semesters ago from Arizona State University.  Prior to that I transferred to ASU from another university.  I would like to claim that UAT's credit transfer system and override of course policy is not what the original poster claims it to be.

I transferred to ASU without any credits allowed from my previous university.  When I transferred to UAT, not only did they accept ASU credits but also those from my previous university (both were public schools).  Within the first week, I was allowed to forgo all of the remedial math, English and humanities courses and all but upper-level courses in my general studies.  This semester, just by asking, I was allowed to override a course due to extended knowledge of the subject.  The only downside I experienced with this was that it took four requests for the override to finally reach the faculty.  ("They couldn't find it").

Another thing I would like to point out is that after 7 weeks, almost TWO months of the five month semester, most teachers would not let a student into the class as all the foundational work for the course subject has passed and the catch up work would be too immense.  This is true for many universities.  In my personal opinion, the original poster's decision to stick with that one class and not move on to another subject he/she would need is not the fault of the University's.

Also, assuming that the poster is a full-time student, each course would not cost $3000.00.  That estimate is extremely far-off. 

I spoke with a career counselor recently who said that job placement in my personal field has had a placement rate of over 75%.  Granted, my field is NOT game design or programming and I have no knowledge of that field's progress regarding placement, but I can say that the chances of a student getting placed is based a lot on how hard the student is willing to work.

In conclusion, I have no doubt that this previous student of UAT's has had a bad experience.  However, in my personal opinion, it sounds like a lot of what happened is also the fault of the student.  UAT has helped me with financing, career-searching, credit transfers, exemptions from classes and a lot more.  I'm not stating that UAT is perfect, but in my personal experience, they have made attending school a lot easier on the student than other universities I have attended. 
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