• Report: #1132113
Complaint Review:

Western Governors University

  • Submitted: Thu, March 20, 2014
  • Updated: Mon, April 14, 2014

  • Reported By: Aaron Brown — Aransas Pass Texas
Western Governors University
4001 S 700 E #700 Salt Lake City, Utah USA

Western Governors University Did not disclose their enrollment requirement of prior college / certifications. Salt Lake City Utah

*Author of original report: This response was WGU is not true

*UPDATE Employee: Western Governors University Admissions Requirements

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Western Governors University has two main enrollment pages which are advertised to teach you "what to expect", and list a sort of step-by-step and detailed requirements of the enrollment process. The general admissions requirements page lists only a GED requirement. The IT courses admissions requirements page lists the option of showing prior college, OR certifications, OR a resume with 3+ work experience in IT.

I was able to provide them with my GED where I scored in the upper 80 percentile. I also gave them my Resume showing more than 6 years of work in IT. Their IT department approved my resume, so I had met the requirements which were shown on their website.

However, they promptly denied me admissions. My enrollment counselor, Michael Cox, told me via phone that I had been denied primarily due to lack of prior college transfer credits. He said there is a campus-wide requirement at WGU that all students must have prior college transfer credits.

I then spoke with Summer and Alison, both who work at IT, and they told me that prior college is NOT required. But they wouldn't tell me why I had been denied. Only Michael Cox was willing to tell me. So they told me he couldn't be my admissions counselor anymore. Apparently they don't like it when their secret requirement of prior college actually gets told to students.

Anyway, I wasted a whole month taking not only the lengthy admission exam, but then further wasted time appealing three times as I tried to reason with them that it was unethical and probably illegal to deny me primarily or even partly for reasons which were intentionally not disclosed on their admissions requirements page.

To clarify:

1) "False Advertising" law states, in summery, that it is illegal to intentionally withhold key details of a product or service which would increase the likelihood of a sale. This applies in my case, as I would not have taken the exam nor paid the fee had I known prior college would be reason for my denial. So they withhold key details that resulted in damages to me.

2) "Bait and Switch" law states, in summery, that it is illegal to advertise one thing, then require something else after a person has begun the transaction. This applies to me, as I was told a GED was required, then got denied for lack of college transfer credits.

3) "Fraud" law states, in summery, that it is illegal to misrepresent in a way that costs people time and money.

I respect WGU's right as a private organization to have its own admissions requirements. But if a requirement such as prior college exists, which is a key detail that materially affects the admissions service that I paid for, then I have the right to know it before I pay a fee and spent time taking admissions tests. In the case with WGU's IT program, the disclosed terms of IT admissions include only a requirement of a GED and a resume. Beyond that, other factors such as transfer credits are "considered". But because those considerations are not listed as requirements, they may be used to strengthen an application, but cannot be used as reasons for denial.

I will be posting this complaint on every complaint website, including the BBB. Then I will forward this situation of non-disclosure to the state governor of the various states who may have an interest in this university. I will also be contacting some of the lawyers who work here at my office to see if this case should be escalated to a lawsuit. I believe I have incurred considerable damages in loss of time as a result of their misrepresentation of their service. I have read online that others have been denied for lack of prior college as well, and some others were angry about this. So I am willing to be the lead witness if this case is viable for a class action lawsuit, so that those others can be represented as well.

Note: WGU refunded my admissions fee. However, this is not enough, because I lost a lot of time as well.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/20/2014 08:41 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/western-governors-university/salt-lake-city-utah-84107/western-governors-university-did-not-disclose-their-enrollment-requirement-of-prior-colle-1132113. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

This response was WGU is not true

AUTHOR: Aaron - ()

This reply from WGU is not true.

First, they said "Note that the listed requirements are not either/or (as described in the complaint)." This is not true. To be exact, the web page at http://www.wgu.edu/admissions/it_requirements states a listing of requirements for their IT program. The list is preceeded by these exact words: "Demonstrate IT experience either through". Please note the words "either through". So indeed it is an either/or, as described in my complaint. And yet here, in their reply, they say it isn't either/or. Perhaps they didn't read their own website and failed to realize that my complaint is valid. I met the requirements which were advertised, since I had a resume, and my resume was approved by their IT admissions. But I still got rejected, over requirement of prior college, which they didn't disclose.

Secondly, they said "Prior college credit is a listed requirement for WGU students". This is also not true. Prior college is only listed as a consideration, never as a requirement. It is not on any of the requirement lists on the general admissions page. And on the IT admissions page, it is listed in an either/or listing of possible ways to prove IT experience, as I explained above, so it's not a requirement there either, only one of several options.

My compaint is true, and my complaint is simply this: even if you meet all the listed requirements, you will still get rejected if you lack prior college, even though college prior is not listed as a requirement anywhere on WGU's website. I believe that it should plainly say that prior college is a requirement, not just a consideration. The word consideration means "adds value" or "worth something". But if they will reject you for lack of college prior, which they do, then it shouldn't be called a consideration, it should be listed among the other requirements. Calling it a consideration, and putting only a GED in the requirements list is false advertising and fraud, as it causes people like me who only have a GED to waste valuable time and money taking the admissions test. This is wrong and unethical and highly unprofessional of them.

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Western Governors University Admissions Requirements

AUTHOR: Western Governors University - ()

Western Governors University considers several factors in admissions decisions. In addition to general requirements for undergraduates, there are special requirements for admission to the College of Information Technology. All requirements are listed on the Admissions Requirements page of the WGU website: http://www.wgu.edu/admissions/requirements. The general admissions criteria for undergraduates include:

  • Results on the WGU Collegiate Readiness Assessment
  • Prior college experience and work experience
  • An interview with a WGU Enrollment Counselor
  • The time commitment you can make to your studies

Special requirements listed for WGU’s B.S. IT programs are:

  • A high school diploma or its equivalent
  • Demonstrate IT experience either through:
    • An associate’s degree in IT or equivalent (A.S. or A.A.S. acceptable)
    • High-level IT coursework completed within the last five years:
      • Two or more upper-level networking courses; OR
      • Two or more upper-level object-oriented programming courses (Java, C#, etc.); OR
      • One or more upper-level operating systems courses; OR
      • One or more upper-level information security and assurance courses.
    • Hold transferable IT certifications earned within the last five years. Click here to see what IT certifications may transfer to WGU.
    • Submit a resume showing three-plus years of IT work experience.Note that the listed requirements are not either/or (as described in the complaint). Prior college credit is a listed requirement for WGU students. While occasionally this requirement is waived based on other factors like work experience or high school GPA, it is clearly listed on our website. Students who are not admitted because they lack prior college experience are encouraged to take college courses at a local community college or with our partner, Straighterline, an online provider of college courses with transferable credit. For students who complete a course with Straighterline, WGU will even credit some of the cost of these courses toward tuition after the student has been admitted.

Because WGU protects the privacy of our applicants and students, we cannot address this applicant’s specific circumstances here. Individual questions or requests for information can be submitted to jmitchell@wgu.edu.

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